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The Improvement of 


South Carolina 

Report to The Civic League, Columbia 
South Carolina, by Kelsey & Guild, 
Landscape Architects, Boston, Mass. 


The Improvement of Columbia 
South Carolina 





i. Need o a Comprehensive Plan 7 

2. What a Plan Should Be 15 

3. A Civic Center or Group Plan 16 

4. The Topography of Columbia and Vicinity, and its Chief Landscape 

Features as Related to Improvements 20 

5. The Acquirement of Land for Park Purposes; Methods of Paying 

Therefore and for Improvements 24 

6. Composition and Administration of Improvement Commissions ... 26 

7. Streets and Street Trees 28 

8. Overhead Wires 35 

9 Columbia's City Blocks 36 

10. A Park System ; Including Squares and Playgrounds, Historic, 

Scenic and Other Reservations, and Their Proper Uses ... 40 

11. Southern Conditions 43 

[2. The General Improvement of Columbia 47 


i. Suggestions for the Improvement of Boulevards and Streets ... 53 

2. The Park System ; Approximate Cost 54 

3. Historic, Scenic and Other Reservations 64 

4. The Street Trees of Columbia, and Recommended Street Plans . . 70 


i. City Park Statistics 83 

2. List of Native Trees Suitable for Street Purposes in Columbia, 

with Descriptions 85 

3. List of Native Trees Observed in and Around Columbia 87 

iffliiuni JHruuaut JlrrHsi 

/. Horace JXCcFarland Company 

By Tr»n**>r 

SEP : 5 1919 

The Improvement of Columbia 
South Carolina 

To the Officers and Members of The Civic League, 
Columbia, South Carolina. 

We beg to submit the following report on "The Improvement 
of the City of Columbia," prepared at the request of your League. 
We did not deem it desirable, at this time, to place too much em- 
phasis upon detail, because, in doing so, the main objects sought 
might easily be lost sight of. Such detail can best be determined 
only after a general scheme of city improvement is finally and 
permanently adopted. 

We have made a close personal study of the territory in and 
around Columbia during the year, and have carefully examined all 
available data referring to the city since its foundation. 

This report may therefore be considered preliminary, and we 
trust the general scheme outlined may be found worthy of adoption. 
In any event, we recommend that a Joint Improvement Commission 
be created by your city and state, with full power to adopt and 
carry out a systematic, well-conceived scheme of improvement that 
would not be subject to the passing whims or fancies of even well- 
intentioned individuals who might be in temporary municipal or 
state authority. 

Only in this way can a plan necessarily involving many years 
of time for completion be properly initiated and carried out, and 
the best permanent results secured. With such a Commission, 
working on broad lines and with far-seeing eyes, the greater Colum- 
bia will be made into a dignified capital city, worthy of such a 
state as South Carolina, and a center which will reflect the best 
life and character of its people. 

The consideration of a comprehensive plan for the development 
and improvement of any city should be based, to an extent, on 
the experience of those cities of the world which have advanced 
farthest in all that goes to make urban life pleasant and profitable; 
for, in a general way, the principles of growth in all cities are simi- 
lar, and the lessons of success and failure already recorded else- 


where may be applied with great profit, and be the means of 
avoiding, at the outset, expensive mistakes that later may be im- 
possible of remedy. However, the life and requirements of the 
southern city are, in many ways, so radically different from those of 
the city of colder zones, that while the underlying principles of 
municipal development and progress may be the same the world 
over, their application in the South, and especially in regard to de- 
tails, must be very different and designed to meet these special needs. 

It is quite probable that this report will be more useful in its 
suggestions than in the plan outlined. With study, an outsider, 
viewing With unprejudiced eyes, may often be able to perceive 
existing conditions that are lost sight of by those in daily contact 
with their surroundings, and thus be able to suggest means for 

While certain suggestions we make may be found inexpedient, 
yet, as a whole, we believe them to be logical and quite possible of 
carrying out economically and successfully. 

Desiring to expedite this report, we secured the services of Mr. 
W. W. Ashe, a well-known botanist of Raleigh, who ably as- 
sisted in making a survey of the street trees of Columbia, and in 
determining the botanical nomenclature of the native trees of 
Columbia and vicinity. 

We acknowledge with thanks the many courtesies and much 
valuable information supplied by many citizens of Columbia, and 
especially the kind assistance of Miss Belle Williams and other 
members of your League ; Dr. J. W. Babcock, superintendent of 
the State Hospital ; Mr. Clark, secretary of the Columbia Chamber 
of Commerce ; Mr. E. J. Watson, Commissioner of Agriculture, 
Commerce and Immigration of the State of South Carolina; Secre- 
tary of State Gantt and many other state, county and city officials. 

Acknowledgement is gladly made to Mr. G. A. Parker, of 
Hartford, Conn., for valuable suggestions on southern park prob- 
lems so freely offered on numerous occasions. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Kelsey & Guild. 
Boston, Mass., October 20, /ooj. 

Plan Showing a Suggested System of Inner and Outer Parks and Reservations 
and Connecting Roads and Driveways 

The Improvement of Columbia 
South Carolina 



It is quite recently that cities have awakened to the urgent 
need of a systematic plan for future development along lines that 
would provide for parks, playgrounds and boulevards ; for sewer, 
water, lighting and transportation, and at the most reasonable cost 
to their citizens. 

Columbia, like Washington, had the remarkable and unusual 
privilege of "choosing its own site," and the fortune to have its 
plan laid out by those who wisely looked far enough into the future 
to provide uniformly broad streets, wide enough for a metropolis, 
and capable, under proper treatment, of giving to the entire city a 
unique, park-like effect, enjoyed by no other city we recall, at least 
in America. It is extremely unfortunate, however, that the plan was 
so arbitrary, with apparently little, if any, consideration given to 
the topography of the land. Even on a flat plane, the gridiron plan 
can never be said to be entirely satisfactory, and with no diagonal 
or " ring" (encircling) streets the conditions are still more unfa- 
vorable, and become aggravated as the city grows. 

Columbia being situated on a broad, undulating plateau, with 
sudden breaks in the levels, the wide, right-angled streets often 
have unsatisfactory, or almost impossible, grades (as parts of 
Assembly, Taylor, Bull, Pickens, and others), or terminate alto- 
gether (as Senate, Lady, Washington, Henderson, Barnwell, 
Blanding and many others). 

Had the engineer but provided diagonal streets, radiating from 
the capitol, and taken into consideration the contour of the land, a 
much better foundation would have been laid for a convenient and 
beautiful capital city of large population. 


Unfortunately, too, as in Washington, the tendency has ever 
been to ignore the original street plan on which the city was 
founded, for the seeming profit or convenience of the moment ; 
and the partial obliteration of some streets, and the narrowing of 
others, where entirely unnecessary, has resulted. Further, the 
only park within the corporate limits — once a cool, natural forest 
of magnificent specimen oaks, pines and other native trees, di- 
rectly in the heart of the city, with abundant crystal springs burst- 
ing from the hillside, which at one time amply supplied a popula- 
tion of thirty thousand * — has disappeared, and a scarred, sun- 
burned hole, of doubtful use as a railroad dump, coal chute and 
ice factory, shows the sad results of indifference and lack of fore- 
sight now bitterly regretted by Columbia's citizens.f 

Not only this, but Columbia, with its sudden increase in wealth 
and population, caused by the South's general prosperity, and the 
centering here of new manufacturing industries, has long since 
outgrown the two-mile-square limit of its founders, and serious 
problems of street extension, sanitation, water-supply, police and 
fire protection, are confronting the "greater city," and cannot 
longer be ignored. With the tide of trade and manufacturing 
turning south, it takes but little foresight to predict of the future 
Columbia a city of vastly increased dimensions, population and 

Is it not, therefore, the veriest part of wisdom to acknowledge 
present conditions, and as far as possible anticipate the needs of 
the future, so that expensive mistakes may be avoided and a "city 
beautiful" result, rather than a "city of chance," with sore spots 
festering within and without narrowed corporate limits! 

Had it not been for its original plan, establishing wide streets, 
it is plain that Columbia today would be merely the ordinary Amer- 
ican city of narrow, tortuous, disconnected streets, so extremely 
difficult of treatment that the carrying out of an adequate city plan 
would be possible only at enormous expenditure. 

* South Carolina Resources. 

t Sidney Park.—" Originally these lands were covered with a magnificent growth of immense 
oaks, hickories and pines. . . . Natural springs issuing from a valley between the town and 
river afford an excellent supply of water, which is raised 120 feet by steam power for use at the 
rate of 1,000,000 gallons per day. . . . Columbia is noted for the beauty of its public and pri- 
vate grounds, and for its beautiful flower gardens. Sidney Park covers twenty acres, furnishing 
attractive promenades." — Smith Carolina Resources. 

" The Seaboard Air Line Railroad Company instituted proceedings to condemn Sidney Park 
for a railroad station in this city. The City Council made merely formal objection and the em- 
paneled jury assessed its value at $30,000, which was paid to the city. . . . As soon as the 
Railroad Company obtained possession they at once proceeded to convert the trees into firewood, 
the shrubbery into trash, and the park into a big hole in the ground. It is now used as a place of 
storage for cars, and for leased industries."— Extract from letter dated December S, 1904. 

Sidney Park and Parkway 
i. The destruction of Sidney Park. 2. From Seaboard Air Line fill. 3. Locomotive yards. 
4. Entrance of Seaboard Air Line Railroad into Columbia. 5. Sidney Parkway. 6. Fringe oi 
trees along brook. 


What would now be the cost of widening Main street alone to 
its present width had it been built up as a narrow thirty-five or 
forty-foot street? 

Today American cities are paying millions of dollars for widen- 
ing streets and securing park areas, where thousands would have 
sufficed, had reasonable foresight been used and a plan made and 
adhered to that would have provided for the needs of future growth. 

Harrisburg, Pa., for example, a city but little larger than 
Columbia, has recently voted $1,090,000 for good streets, water, 
sewer and park systems. Careful plans have been prepared by 
experts in each line, all working together so that the improvements 
are harmonious, and they have proceeded rapidly on these lines 
with great success. 

Boston * also has already spent millions of dollars for the 
extension of boulevards and a park system, and the results of care- 
ful planning for the future is better seen here, perhaps, than any- 
where else in America. 

Louisville, Detroit, Springfield, Mass., Providence, Hartford, 
Seattle and many other smaller cities, are carrying out extensive 
park and city improvements along carefully considered lines, while 
New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Buffalo, and Cleve- 
land are considering plans involving vast expenditure and many 
years' time for completion. 

In studying the conditions of growth obtaining in Columbia, we 
have been much impressed with the rapid development of the out- 
lying suburban districts immediately adjoining the city limits. The 
suddenly narrowed streets and utter lack of uniformity of plan and 
administration one encounters on reaching the city's boundary 
give a warning that, unless soon heeded, disastrous conditions will 
result, impossible of remedy, except at a cost almost prohibitive. 

The outlying districts need the fire and police protection, 
paved streets, water and sewer systems, and the schools of Colum- 
bia ; but far more does the city itself need the suburbs, to protect 
itself against poor and imperfect sanitation, and polluted air and 
water ; and to secure, before too late, available areas for park pur- 
poses. Especially is it necessary to control the development of 
streets, boulevards and blocks, which, unless laid out somewhat in 

♦"Boston has, until very lately, grown in a most accidental and haphazard way. It has cost 
the city more to undo the mistakes perpetrated through the short-sightedness o' former genera- 
tions than it has to provide for its legitimate growth. It is, therefore, time for it to grow intelli- 
gently, and to proceed along carefully considered lines of development. These lines have already 
been laid down or are now being laid down, in several important directions, and their extension 
in others is thereby made all the more desirable." — Mass. House No. 150 Report of Metropolitan 
Park Commission. 


accordance with the broad lines of Columbia's original plan, will 
soon hedge in the city with an iron-bound network of narrow, 
inconvenient, alley-like streets and roads, totally unfit to become 
an integral part of any city. 

From an esthetic standpoint, the conditions are even now 
intolerable; the broad, shaded streets of the city usually terminat- 
ing in what are little more than alleys, or at best, narrow country 
roads, often lined with small negro houses, abutting the sidewalks. 
As population increases, the streets become inadequate to the de- 
mands of traffic, and give little leeway for underground systems of 
conduits, and no room for shade trees or park strips. But, per- 
haps, the most evil results come from the building up of cheap 
residence and tenement districts in a continuous belt around the 
present city, lessening valuations and congesting the very popula- 
tion that should, at least from a sanitary standpoint, have every 
chance for fresh air and breathing space. 

Why should Columbia, with its wonderful opportunity of being 
noted as the "City of Magnificent Streets," allow itself, through 
inaction and lack of foresight, to be "built in" by sporadic growth 
and the stupidity of land "improvement" companies, and awaken 
too late, only to find much of the evil impossible of correction ? 

The suburb of Shandon is a notable exception, broad streets 
being here the rule. Some day, Columbia will appreciate the fact 
more fully than at present. 

Land companies, in their anxiety to use every possible inch of 
land for building purposes, continually fail to realize that narrow 
streets and twenty-foot lots often defeat the very objects they are 
seeking. Such conditions attract the cheaper class of builders only, 
and never make attractive residence centers of high land valuation. 

So much of the proper future development of Columbia depends 
on the actual municipal control of these suburban districts, which 
are even now a physical part of the city, that we would urge such 
immediate action as may be necessary to accomplish this purpose. 

Practically all of the important cities of the United States have 
provided, or are now providing, an adequate system of parks, the 
best planned being usually connected by boulevards or parkways. 

Where in a small town a central "square" is perhaps suf- 
ficient, — the citizens being able to reach the country in any di- 
rection within a few minutes' walk, — as the built-up area increases, 
and the population becomes more dense and congested, the oppor- 
tunities of the individual for outdoor recreation decrease. 

Columbia is fast becoming a great industrial center, and upon 


the health, happiness and well-being of the laboring classes must 
depend no small proportion of its future prosperity. With parks 
and playgrounds so accessible as to be within easy walking reach, 
the vitality of every man, woman and child who labors will be in- 
creased and his potentiality in every way enhanced. 

Without these means of recreation and rejuvenation, physical 
and moral degeneration must surely mark the city's industrial de- 
velopment, with danger of our native-born laborer being forced 
out and an undesirable foreign element taking his place. Mr. An- 
drew Cowan, Park Commissioner of Louisville, Ky., has very hap- 
pily expressed the meaning and value of parks in the following 
words: "The use of public parks is to promote the well-being 
and happiness of the people, to alleviate the hard conditions of 
crowded humanity, to encourage outdoor recreations and intimacy 
with Nature, to fill the lungs of tired workers from city factories 
and shops with pure and wholesome air, whenever they will or can 
afford to spend a day in shady groves, under spreading trees or on 
the jeweled meadows. They are havens of sweetness and rest for 
mothers and wives and sweethearts ; above all, they are for the 
children, for all the people, high and low, rich and poor, without 
distinction, with equal rights and privileges for every class. A city 
that does not now acknowledge the necessity for public parks, as a 
means for promoting the welfare and happiness of its people, and 
recognize the substantial advantages that follow the making of a 
city attractive and comfortable as a place of residence, is not pro- 
gressing, but is already on the wane." 

The average city pays too dearly for its park system, not that it 
is not worth the cost, but because it might have been acquired 
more cheaply had reasonable foresight and imagination and suf- 
ficient faith in the future needs and growth of the city been applied by 
its citizens. 

Before it is realized, suburbs lose their charm and become fully 
urbanized, and it is then extremely difficult, except at great cost, 
to widen streets and to secure adequate open spaces for play- 
grounds and parks, or to place them in the proper localities. 

Even at great cost, park systems almost invariably prove to 
be extremely valuable investments to the city, looking at the finan- 
cial side alone. From the report of the New York Park Commis- 
sioners, we find that Central Park, the first large city park in 
America, and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, furnish striking ex- 
amples. " In 1856, the assessed valuation of the three wards ad- 
joining Central Park was $20,429,565. In 1873, it had increased 


to $236,081,515, a gain in seventeen years of $215,651,950. The 
natural average increase of three other wards in the city, when all 
the wards had been averaged, was $53,000,000, making the earn- 
ing capacity of the park for that period $183,081,515. In Brook- 
lyn, in 1864, when Prospect Park, with its 515 acres of land was ac- 
quired, the assessed valuation of the three neighboring wards was 
$19,949,395, and at the end of three years the valuation had risen 
38 per cent, or over $7,000,000 — which, by the way, was twice the 
cost of the land which had been parked." 

W. E. Edgerton, Superintendent of Parks of Albany, New York, 
says of the Albany Parks: "The history of Albany is that the 
value of the ground contiguous to the parks has not only doubled, 
but quadrupled and sextupled. One piece of property was worth 
$8,500, and, by the simple expenditure of $4,800 on it, the value of 
that property was raised more than forty times in eight years." 

In their Eleventh Annual Report, the Park Commissioners of 
Boston, in referring to the Back Bay improvements, show an in- 
creased valuation in eight years of $11,935,449, with a total in- 
crease of revenue from taxes of $280,734. 

Mr. W. H. Harmon, secretary of the Chicago Park Depart- 
ment, in a letter to the secretary of the New York Park Associa- 
tion, says, in reference to the effect of parks upon the value of 
adjacent land: "The immediate effect was to double and quad- 
ruple property." 

Bulletin No. 3, Park Department, American Civic Association, 
states : "In Brookline, Mass., a town of thirteen thousand inhabi- 
tants, the pecuniary advantage of parks is thus spoken of by the 
secretary of the Park Board in that town : ' Beacon street was 
widened into a parkway at a cost of $615,000. In six years the in- 
crease in assessed values of land on each side of the street, through- 
out its entire length, and for an approximate distance of only five 
hundred feet from the side line, is $4,330,400, with no allowance 
for any increase in personal estate incident thereto. The Beacon 
parkway is, therefore, paying for itself long before its most zealous 
advocates thought it would, and is a striking proof that well-con- 
sidered plans for large public improvements of this kind are profi- 
table ventures.' " 

These examples of increased valuation, and consequent increase 
of revenue, following city improvements, and particularly park ex- 
tension, could be multiplied indefinitely. Ruskin says: "You 
may have thought that beauty was expensive. You are wrong. It 
is ugliness that costs." 



A comprehensive plan for the development of a city should 
consider well the tendencies of growth, and the physical features 
that to an extent must in the future govern such growth. 

It must reasonably anticipate the needs of the community as 
indicated by the present and future business and social require- 
ments, and should, as far as possible, reflect the traditions and 
character of its people, while at the same time suggesting the best 
in municipal advancement that may with profit be locally applied. 
It should especially consider local conditions, for no two cities 
are in all ways alike, and be so designed that the individuality of 
a community is emphasized. 

It should be consistent as a whole, its parts having proper 
relation to each other both as to general design and detail, so that 
improvements undertaken at any given point may, in the end, har- 
moniously adapt themselves to the general scheme. 

Such a plan, therefore, involves not only general considera- 
tions of city growth,* but must include its main parts governing 
the establishment and extension of parks, playgrounds, boulevards 
and streets and the location of public buildings and institutions. 

Such questions as tree planting, the paving of streets, the loca- 
tion of statues, monuments and drinking fountains, the preserva- 
tion of historic spots, public lighting, sidewalks, manner of indi- 
cating street names, and other like matters must be treated with 
more or less detail, and should tend toward cultivating in the 
minds of the public a taste and desire for the most highly artistic 
and appropriate in the small things that make up so large a part 
of a city's attractiveness. 

Finally, a plan to be of practical value must be, as carefully as 
possible, gauged to the resources of a community. While city 
improvements of necessity entail large original cost, no plan can 
be considered a good one that requires extravagant expenditure or 
imposes a greater burden for construction or maintenance than can 
comfortably be sustained. And the most successful plan is one in 

*" The wisdom of adopting a general scheme, which maybe modified in detail as occasion 
requires, but which will be planned in its general features in advance of urban growth, executed 
as rapidly as possible and in harmony with which parks will be constructed, monuments erected, 
public buildings located and other structures provided, is evidenced by foreign experience. There 
is continuity and harmony in the various improvements, and the work accomplished by each gen- 
eration does not need to be undone by the succeeding generation. Instead of conflict, each addi- 
tional improvement adds far more than indicated by its cost, and the improvements already car- 
ried out add tone and character to the new work, which would be lacking if there were no in- 
terdependence and if they had been carried out in a haphazard way."— Milo Roy Maltbic, in 
Civic Ail in Northern Europe. 


which the improvements, in the end, pay for themselves in a finan- 
cial way, at least in part, and with a large surplus invested in the 
health, happiness and social betterment of the community. 


The grouping in a city of public or semi-public buildings offers 
two important and convincing advantages. First, by the central- 
izing of public business it adds immeasurably to the convenience 
of the officials and of the general public, and is therefore conducive 
to economy in the conduct of such business. Second, by arrange- 
ment around an open space or mall, the dignity and architectural 
importance of each building is enhanced by those around it, while 
the larger group forms a unit which can be treated with proper 
regard for architectural effect and in a manner commensurate with 
its civic importance, — a result entirely impossible if the buildings 
are scattered promiscuously throughout the city. 

That such a plan may be economical, when viewed from the 
financial standpoint alone, is proved by figures submitted by the 
Cleveland Group Plan Commission, which show that the city will 
secure a magnificent group of imposing public buildings, arranged 
around a great central mall supplying ample approaches from a 
new union station and an esplanade facing the lake, at a cost less 
than would be required to provide independent sites for the same 

No less than six American cities (Cleveland, St. Louis, Buf- 
falo, St. Paul, Hartford and Providence) have already prepared 
such group plans, or are actually carrying them out at enormous 
expense, while the experience of European cities uniformly con- 
demns the haphazard location of public buildings. 

There is hardly an important city in this country that is not 
facing this question, now universally recognized as a problem of 
prime and vital importance. 

Washington has not only returned to its original splendid street 
plan, abandoned over fifty years ago, but proposes in the future to 
intelligently group all new public buildings according to a logical 
scheme, devised by a commission appointed several years since. 

As noted before, Columbia is unfortunate in having no diagonal 
streets to furnish vistas, circles and triangles, such, for instance, as 
those to be found in Washington.* While there are but few pub- 
lic buildings outside the Capitol architecturally worthy of perpetu 

* Washington has 275 such spots less than an acre in extent, nearly all at the intersection of 
parallel and diagonal streets. 

A Suggested Civic Center for the Grouping of Columbia's Future Public Buildings 

Alternative Plan for Civic Center 

The area included in this plan occupies six city blocks, or about twenty-two acres exclusive 
of streets. Its acquirement would be comparatively easy, as there are very few buildings located 
on it at present of even moderate valuation. 


ation, a number of fine old antebellum buildings,* still in public 
use, exist in different parts of the city, of quiet and unpretending 
architecture, and rich in historic associations. As these become 
inadequate for municipal and county needs, they should be care- 
fully preserved and jealously guarded for their historic interest. 

In a group plan, it is of fundamental importance that the gen- 
eral style of architecture of the different buildings be the same. It 
is evident that such a grouping should radiate from the Capitol, 
this being the building of greatest prominence and importance. 
Therefore a style agreeing with the Capitol is necessary. The 
simple forms, familiar in the classic Renaissance of the South, 
which has come to be known as the "Colonial style," would seem 
most harmonious, and would give the most fitting architectural 
expression, — in keeping, also, with the best traditions of Southern 

The recently erected City Hall and Opera House directly in 
front of the Capitol is a striking example of the lack of both a 
scheme for grouping and the entire absence of an architectural 
motive for the city's public buildings. Its style, whether good or 
not in itself, is certainly in total discord with the dignified lines of 
the Capitol, detracting materially from the prospect both looking 
from and toward the Capitol grounds. Its location directly on 
the street is unfortunate, in not providing suitable perspective for 
its front, or surrounding areas that might be made attractive with 
lawn and shrubbery. 

No city, large or small, can afford to ignore such important 
considerations, which bears so vitally on its appearance, convenience 
and permanent prosperity. 

Nothing else so impresses a visitor within a city, favorably or 
unfavorably, as the general appearance of the public buildings, 
grounds and streets, and the manner in which they are cared for. 

Dirty streets, slovenly kept buildings, and littered-up grounds, 
have caused many a stranger to quickly transact his necessary busi- 
ness and betake himself to more congenial odors and scenes, car- 
rying with him an uncomplimentary (but we are glad to say, often 
erroneous) opinion of the citizens themselves. 

If, however, the traveler's introduction is through a broad, 
well-paved boulevard, lined with noble shade trees, and flanked on 
either side with groups of dignified, clean public buildings, each 
surrounded by abundant light and air, and with smoothly kept 

* Notably, Public School Building, Laurel and Pickens streets ; The South Carolina College 
for Women, Pickens street ; The First Baptist Church, Plain near Marion streets; the County 
Court House, Washington and Sumter streets, and others. 


lawns, — the whole a scene of harmony and beauty, — his feelings are 
exalted and he unconsciously places the aims and ideals of the 
inhabitants on the same high plane. 


Within its present two-mile-square limits, Columbia presents a 
rather varied topography, the highest point being approximately 
one hundred and fifty feet above the Congaree River on East 

This variation in elevation is often very sudden, notably on the 
streets bordering upon Sidney Park, at Lady and Washington 
streets, where they intersect with Pickens street, at Senate, Pendle- 
ton and College streets at the crossing of Laurens street, and in 
many other places to a hardly less degree. 

At these points it is quite impossible to adhere to the existing 
gridiron plan of streets, a frank departure having already been 
made where it was found impossible to secure a reasonable grade 
to satisfy the demands of traffic. The city should exercise great 
care to preserve its title to such portions of the original street sys- 
tem as may thus prove wise to abandon, until their proper perma- 
nent use is decided. For it is quite often the case that these very 
sections with extremes of grade, and which are of little building 
value, are best adapted to the making of interesting parks and 

Perhaps the most striking example of the city's relinquishment 
of street ownership may be seen in the section bounded by Pickens, 
Plain, Laurel and Gervais streets, where the title to certain parts 
of those streets which originally passed through this area has evi- 
dently been transferred to private parties. As a result, the greater 
part of twelve city blocks in the very heart of the residential sec- 
tion of the city, and but little more than three blocks distant from 
the State Capitol, is given over to the cheapest negro tenements, in 
many places the back wall of one house closely crowding the front 
door-steps of another. 

An examination shows the sanitary conditions here to be in- 
tolerable, much of the sewage from tenements on the higher ground 
passing under those on lower elevations, till it finds an abiding 
place in the low swampy center of the tract, there to reek and fes- 
ter in the hot sun, the breeding place of typhoid and other disease 


Picture this same tract swept clear of all buildings and sore 
spots, and converted into a small park, with trees and shady walks, 
a tiny lake with foliaged banks nestling near the center, and a high 
outlook at the termination of Lady or Washington streets from 
which the whole may be viewed, and one sees some of the possi- 
bilities in these "unavailable" spots if Columbia will but take 
advantage of them. 

On the western side of the city, what was once Sidney Park, and 
the valley extending from it to the Congaree River, has even greater 
possibilities, — the total area being larger, the elevations more ab- 
rupt, and the configuration of the land more varied and interesting. 
Magnificent views maybe had from the high surrounding property, 
which has the benefit of the dry southwest summer breezes. Yet, 
owing to the destruction of this beautiful park and the undesirable 
class of houses which occupy the valley below it, but few fine resi- 
dences have recently been erected in the vicinity. 

In the southeastern part of the city, and possibly including parts 
of Shandon, is a low, comparatively level tract drained by Rocky 
Branch, as yet practically undeveloped. A portion of this could 
readily, and at small cost, be converted into an interesting park 
which would provide areas immediately available for playgrounds. 
Directly to the south of this tract, and extending beyond the limits 
of the city boundary at Lower street, the ground rises rapidly into 
an undulating plateau, commanding extended views of the city and 
surrounding country, which must eventually become a favorite 
residential section, although in rather close proximity to the mill 
villages which lie to the west and northwest. 

At one of the highest and most sightly points in the city, im- 
mediately to the east of the South Carolina College, is a notable 
property owned by the state and now used as private golf links in 
connection with the College. On it are several splendid groups of 
pines, and the views to the south and east are particularly fine. 

To the west and southwest of this tract the land falls toward 
the Congaree River in a series of uneven undulations, until, between 
the course of the "old canal " and the river-bank itself, are many 
low stretches where the river overflows during high water. From 
many points in this vicinity near the river may be had perhaps the 
best distant views obtainable of the Capitol and its imposing dome. 

From Gervais street northward along the narrow strip between 
the Columbia Canal and the Congaree River the banks become 
more precipitous and the views of the river itself more varied and 

Along Congaree River 

i. Capitol from Congaree Park. 2. Along the canal. 3. The swin Congaree i^ 

filled with 

small islands. 4. The river from park. 5. Riverway, the canal. 6. The meadows ii 

1 Congaree 

Park. 7. Crane creek, in Ridgewood Park. 


The Congaree River is undoubtedly by far the most notable 
landscape feature of Columbia, and should receive first consider- 
ation in any general plans adopted. While its fall of thirty-six 
feet * in two miles makes the flow too swift for safe pleasure-boat- 
ing, at least above the southern boundary of the city, its attractive- 
ness from a scenic standpoint is greatly enhanced thereby. 

To the north of the city, the valleys of Smith's Branch and 
Crane Creek, with their magnificent growths of timber and high 
surrounding hills, form features of inestimable value for the future 
of the city. 

To the east of the city, the topography is not greatly varied 
and presents but few special features. A series of low ridges, cov- 
ered with second-growth pines, oaks, hickories and other common 
forest trees, slope gently to Gill's Creek, about five miles distant 
from the Capitol. Dent's pond on the Camden road is a beautiful 
sheet of water, to be especially mentioned later. 

A considerable forest of the long-leaf pine (Pinus palustris), 
apparently almost extinct in the region around Columbia, is notice- 
able, lying on Gill's Creek watershed to the north of Dent's pond. 

South of Columbia and west of Bluff Road, lying along the east 
bank of the Congaree River, is a low, wide, swampy tract, many 
miles in extent. This reaches to a point below Kingsville, where 
the Congaree and Wateree Rivers unite, and is covered with a 
heavy growth of oaks, elms, maples, gums, poplars, ash and other 
trees, with an almost impenetrable undergrowth of shrubs and 

To the west of Columbia and across the Congaree lies Lexing- 
ton county, which should be considered in any general plan, at 
least so far as the banks of the river are concerned ; for any damage 
to this western shore would be immediately noticeable from the 
opposite side. Columbia was originally planned to be a city two 
miles square, with right-angled streets ioo feet wide, the four 
boundary streets and the two central streets, Senate and Assembly, 
each being 150 feet wide. If the founders had placed the Capitol 
at the intersection of these two last-named streets, this would have 
insured magnificent vistas of the building extending to the four 
city boundaries. It seems, however, that a higher point, one block 
to the east and north of this intersection, commanding a wider view 
was chosen, and consequently the Capitol was erected directly 
across Main street and at no intersection. 

It will always be regretted that such an opportunity for giving 

* South Carolina Resources, p. 699. 


the Capitol a noble location was forever lost through zeal for geo- 
metrical accuracy ; for, by merely conforming to the topography, 
and making Main the wide street, and placing the Capitol at the 
intersection of this and Senate street, could the ideal location have 
been secured. 

The least that can now be done is to preserve and enhance in 
every possible way the only extended vistas of the Capitol, which 
are those to be had from North and South Main streets. 


As is well known, a majority of cities, when making any exten- 
sive municipal improvements, usually finance them by the issue of 
long-time bonds, securing their payment by means of a sinking 
fund. Thus future generations who reap the greatest benefit of such 
improvements very justly share a part of the cost. Issuing bonds 
for temporary improvements should be avoided. 

Small parks, playgrounds, street extensions and other less 
costly undertakings may be provided for by special loans or by a 
small fraction per centage increase of tax levy. 

The maintenance of a park system, as of streets, sewers, water- 
supply, etc., must be provided for in the annual tax levy, and, in 
the case of a Capital city, should have the benefit of an annual 
state appropriation. 

The methods adopted in establishing Boston's city and metro- 
politan park systems have resulted so successfully that in consid- 
ering parks for Columbia it might be well to examine the different 
acts and regulations governing the appointment and duties of these 
Commissions, as well as other laws relating to parks in Massachu- 
setts.* The plan f recommended by the Metropolitan Park Com- 
mission and adopted by act of the Massachusetts Legislature, 
whereby the state lends its credit for a comprehensive park sys- 
tem, is especially worthy of consideration. 

* See "Manual Relating to Public Parks in Massachusetts," prepared by direction of Metro- 
politan Park Commission, Boston, 1894. 

t"That is, for the commonwealth to lend its credit, to a certain specified amount in the 
shape of a loan, for which reimbursement will be obtained from the various communities forming 
the metropolitan district. By this means, while the commonwealth is put to no expense in thus 
advancing its credit, the procedure is made an easy one for the communities. The payments 
being so distributed over a long term of years, an excessive taxation is not imposed and the bur- 
den therefore weighs but lightly upon any one community. Moreover, the credit of the common- 
wealth enables the money to be obtained at much lower rates than the communities themselves 
could hope to obtain advantage of, making a net saving of something like one per cent in interest. 
—Mass. House No. /50, p. 14, Report of Metropolitan Park Commission. 


So far as we can find, the well-known principle of assessing 
betterments against abutting property owners for street and other 
public improvements has not been applied to any extent in Colum- 
bia. The city is therefore continually increasing the valuation of 
private property at public expense, and receives no adequate re- 
turn therefor. A considerable legitimate source of revenue is thus 
being annually lost to the city. 

Too much cannot be said in favor of a plan adopted by many 
European cities and which has actually been made possible in one 
American commonwealth * at least, of condemning more than the 
area actually required for improvement. In their report of De- 
cember, 14, 1904, the New York City Improvement Commission 
urges its adoption as follows : 

' ' Although, as above said, the expenditures necessarily required 
by any proper plan must be large, they can, in many instances, be 
greatly reduced, if the city had the power exercised in many Euro- 
pean cities of condemning more than the area actually required, so that 
the city might reap the benefit to be derived from the enhanced value of 
neighboring property, and, in the judgment of the Commission, steps 
should be taken to secure such changes in the constitution and legislative 
enactments as may be necessary for the purpose. This method of tak- 
ing more land than required, with the object of re-sale at an 
advance and of recouping part of the expanse, has been applied in 
various large cities of Great Britain and the Continent where 
extensive alterations have been undertaken for securing architec- 
tural effects, remedying unsanitary conditions or improving the 
city generally, and it is questionable whether many of the improve- 
ments would have been otherwise accomplished." 

By act of the Connecticut Legislature, the trustees of Keney 
Park, Hartford, were authorized to exercise this power, which they 
did with the most gratifying results. 

It appears that the approximate area of Columbia f is 2,508 
acres, the streets as originally laid out (including land and water) 
occupying 963 acres, or 38^ per cent of the total area. Streets 
that have been abandoned, or which, owing to excessive grades, 

* " By recent act of the legislature (Ohio) cities are empowered to acquire land contiguous 
to public buildings and parks and to re-sell such land with restriction in the deed of sale as to the 
character of the buildings to be erected thereon, for the purpose of protecting such public build- 
ings and parks." — Report of the Grouping Plan Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Cin- 
cinnati, September 27, 1904, page 6. 

t As laid out iti 400-foot blocks and 100- and 150-foot streets, it is evident that an area originally 
intended to be exactly two miles square would not be fully occupied. Existing maps would indi- 
cate that this discrepancy was arranged for by platting it some hundred feet less than two miles 


cannot be used, somewhat lessen this ratio. Even with this reduc- 
tion, the streets occupy an excessive percentage of space as com- 
pared with the usual American city. It must be admitted that 
this is wasteful in the case of many of the streets ; for example, in 
the greater part of both Senate and Assembly streets, where topo- 
graphical and other conditions are not favorable for high develop- 
ment as a' residential boulevard. The same may be said of Lower 
and Harden streets, unless these streets can be used as broad con- 
necting links in a park system, or in some sections actually serve 
for certain park purposes. 

Colombia's broad streets, however, if properly developed and 
cared for, will give a distinctive charm to the city, making it 
one large garden, and these streets are already the property of the 
city, and require no outlay jor- purchase. 

For this reason, also, tracts that may be condemned for park 
purposes within the city limits will cost much less than otherwise, 
because the city now possesses title to a considerable area occu- 
pied by streets necessarily forming a large percentage of the land 


Columbia has already provided for modern water and sewage 
systems, and it would have been fortunate indeed if the problems 
of streets and street trees, a park system and the general improve- 
ment of the city had been considered at the same time. It is obvi- 
ous that all municipal improvements have vital relation to each 
other. The sewer, drainage and water systems should have their 
pipes laid where they will affect the permanent tree planting the 
least, and where they can be reached with the smallest possible 
damage to pavements. For these reasons also such conduits 
should be laid, where expedient, in the same trench. Especially 
should these matters be considered from the standpoint of meeting 
the needs of a much larger population, scattered over a far greater 
area than at present, and with a view to satisfying the require- 
ments of a future park system. 

Before determining, therefore, what a commission should be, 
it is necessary to clearly define its scope and the objects to be 

If a general improvement commission is contemplated, cover- 
ing a broad field of activity, it will require possibly a fairly large 


personnel, so that the experience and judgment of the members 
covering a wide range of effort in many lines may be available. 

It seems best, however, to here consider mainly the chief require- 
ments of a Board of Park Commissioners, its personnel and 

In providing for a metropolitan or city park commission, it 
should be composed of three or five citizens, and its head, at least, 
should be a broad man of acknowledged business and executive 
ability ; the other members to be chosen preferably for their 
artistic and refined taste, so that the many questions relating to 
the beauty and embellishment of the parks, squares and parkways 
might have due consideration. It might be advisable to have a 
separate art commission appointed which would consider mainly 
the questions relating to the treatment of historic points of inter- 
est, the erection of fountains, statuary, memorials and other de- 
tails so important to the esthetic development of a city, and 
which would work in harmony with the park commission. 

But here authority would have to be clearly defined, to avoid 
clashing, and it is not certain that an art committee of the com- 
mission itself would not be more satisfactory if it contained proper 

It would, furthermore, seem advantageous and altogether desira- 
ble to have at least one member of the commission a woman. Not 
only have women, as a rule, more time than men to consider es- 
thetic problems, but they have usually a more sensitive and delicate 
natural appreciation of the highest ideals in art and nature, and 
are therefore peculiarly fitted to pass upon such questions as are 
continually brought before a commission of this character. 

Express provision is made in the charter of at least one 
American city* that no person shall be ineligible as a member of 
the park board by reason of sex. 

The New Orleans Park Commission has three women members 
on its board, and this has proved eminently satisfactory. 

In the establishment, construction and management of a park 
system, sound business judgment and skill are so absolutely essen- 
tial that without the fullest provision in the beginning for these 
requirements a commission is badly crippled and the results it 
aims at suffer accordingly. 

Proper, but not undue economy, without allowing essentials 
to suffer, must be exercised always, and a thoughtful realization 
of the ultimate aims sought after must be kept constantly in view. 

♦Charter of the city of Pottland, Oregon, Chapter IV, Article VII, Section 259. 


Above all, a park commission should be absolutely non-politi- 
cal, and should hold a coordinate and not subordinate position in 
the city government. Unfortunately, the reasons are only too obvi- 
ous, for we have but to examine the records of American political, 
and especially municipal, activity to learn that under our present 
system clean and efficient administration of large public improve- 
ments has, up to the present, been well-nigh impossible, — the taint 
of graft or favor, direct or indirect, too often permeating the very 
foundation of public effort. 

Tie the hands of a commission by making it the subservient 
creature of an ever-changing and unstable city government, without 
power to act except through the will of such authority, and its 
best usefulness is killed at the outset. 

All action by a board should be taken with the sole object in view of 
securing for the public the greatest good, without fear or favor to any 

It is quite customary for members of a park commission or 
board to serve without remuneration. 

No serious improvements should be undertaken without the 
services and advice of competent experts, who should supply de- 
tailed plans to be executed under the immediate direction of a 
trained superintendent. 

The members of a board should make themselves acquainted 
with the practices of park boards in other cities, and should, so far 
as possible, visit the best examples of parks and study the meth- 
ods by which they are administered. 


At first thought it would seem that the excessive street surface 
of Columbia, over one-third of its entire area, would make the 
proper paving and maintenance so burdensome as to be almost 
prohibitive. If so, this would necessitate either adequately con- 
structing the principal streets and leaving the others to decay, or 
else poorly paving and maintaining all the streets, — either alterna- 
tive being most undesirable. 

By carefully considering, however, the probable traffic each 
street must sustain in the future, it is possible to reduce to a mini- 
mum the actual surface to be paved, treating the remaining area 
with grass or parked strips planted with shade trees, and side- 

Thus, not only may the expense of construction and the cost 

Columbia's Street Trees 
i. Live oak in Audobon Park, New Orleans; plenty of room and food. 2. Oak on Divine 
street, not crowded, 3. Wires and poles vs. trees, Assembly street. 4. Tree butchery. 5. A pro- 
perly planted avenue. 6. The right way to begin ; a street in Biltmore, N. C. (See also page 71). 


of properly caring for the streets be greatly decreased, but the 
beauty of the streets enhanced many fold. 

Prof. Lafayette Higgins, in the Municipal Journal and Engineer, 
gives three important points to be considered in the proper treat- 
ment of street grades. First, safety to human life ; second, surface 
drainage ; third, the demands of traffic ; to which we would add 
proper consideration for landscape effect. He urges, further, that 
"in all cases where possible, no grades should be established until 
profiles are made for all the streets of the city or town." Columbia 
particularly, on account of its varied contours, is sadly in need of an 
accurate topographical map, not only of the land lying within the 
city limits, but covering most, if not all, of the entire township. 
Numerous bench marks should be fixed at convenient points. 

Practically all permanent improvements must eventually be 
based on such a map ; and until it is available for free and constant 
use, and definite and final street and sidewalk grades established, 
all street improvements and the determination of the first-floor 
grades of business blocks will be unstable and unsatisfactory, and 
often require reconstruction or be always inconvenient if not ac- 
tually dangerous. 

The surface drainage problem cannot be properly solved until 
street and sidewalk intersections are permanently established.* 

This question is daily becoming more urgent, not only on ac- 
count of Columbia's growing population and the consequent in- 
creased use of its streets, but more particularly because of the 
open brick drains, which are in many places quite worn and require 
constant repairing if not entire reconstruction. The flow of surface 
water during rain-storms is rapid, and, at least at the lower eleva- 
tions, of excessive volume. At a distance from the center of the 
city, where dirt gutters take the place of the brick drains, erosion is 
badly damaging the streets, which will require expensive filling at 
some future time.f 

On many of the streets the trees occupy narrow strips along the 

*" There are three distinct methods of establishing street grades, namely: i. By center 
lines. 2. By curb lines. 3. By lot lines. The order given is also, I believe, the order of their de- 
velopment in engineering. Any such rule should be flexible. There can be but one grade for a 
sidewalk at a block corner, and this should be higher than any point of the curb running around 
such a block corner, so that the water will always drain from the building or sidewalk on that 
corner. I prefer the latter method lor the larger city work, because of fewer resulting difficul- 
ties. I think, however, that the second method of establishing grades, the curb corner method, is 
probably the better method for small cities or towns."— Profkssor Lafayette Higgins, in Mu- 
nicipal Journal and Engineer, Vol. XVIIT, No. 5. 

t West Gervais street below Huger furnishes a good example. A gully nearly fifteen feet deep 
now exists, and hundreds of yards of earth have been washed into the river below. It is a very 
dangerous place and is constantly growing worse. 


sidewalks, which are incapable of furnishing suitable or sufficient 
food for their proper development, while immediately outside a 
wide, unimproved street area is going to waste, at best only par- 
tially used by wagons zigzagging back and forth in search of a 
dry spot. 

To reach the sidewalks and the entrances to buildings across 
the open gutters, each abutter has a more or less dilapidated 
bridge. It is, perhaps, reasonable to say that this untidy, unsafe 
and unsightly system of street and curbing connections does more 
to impair the appearance of Columbia's streets than all other causes 

Together with the surface drainage question, of paramount im- 
portance are the sidewalk and street* problems. Their relative 
proportions of width must be determined in advance, the chief 
considerations being permanence, utility and beauty. 

Some cities have established a definite ratio f between the width 
of the streets and the sidewalks, and in certain cases this plan 
might be safe and desirable ; but the universally wide streets of 
Columbia, where their uses and the plans for development are 
likely to be greatly varied, and where existing rows of shade trees 
are at unequal distances from the property lines, make any fixed 
rule inadvisable. 

In southern cities the sidewalks are usually much used as 
promenades, particularly where well shaded and in residential sec- 
tions. They should, therefore, where feasible, be made of suf- 
ficient width on all streets to easily satisfy requirements. Certain 
proportions, however, are necessary to maintain a proper street 
perspective, and in no event should such matters be left to chance 
or snap judgment. 

In the case of Columbia's wide streets, after determining what 
space will satisfactorily provide for the demands of wheeled traffic, 
all the remaining area possible should be devoted to strips of lawn 
with street trees, usually between the sidewalks and the curbing, 
and also where possible along the center of the streets. 

The various kinds of pavements should be carefully considered, 
so that those best adapted for each particular street be chosen. It 

* Well-paved streets are not only essential to the commercial development of a city, but for 
various reasons they are an indispensable necessity. Nothing has done more to assist in the up- 
building of Montgomery than the permanent improvement of her streets. Our highways of gravel, 
vitrified brick and granite blocks are a magnificent advertisement, reflecting, perhaps, more credit 
upon our citizens than any other form of public improvement.— Annual Report, City of Mont- 
gomery, Ala., 1904, page 9. 

t In the recent extensive improvements of Cohoes, New York, the ratio of one to six was de- 
termined upon, and for the rather narrow streets of that city have proved generally satisfactory. 


is well worth bearing in mind that white or glaring material is not 
only disagreeable and injurious to the sight when under foot, but 
that it reflects the heat of the sun's rays to such an extent as to 
materially increase the temperature. 

Cities, especially those of the South, which must endure the 
longest period of the sun's direct radiation, have too long ignored 
this important matter, which affects, to such a marked degree, the 
comfort of its citizens. All mixed or concreted pavements, while 
being prepared, can readily and at little expense be given a gray or 
other agreeable color, where necessary.* 

Although Columbia is unfortunate in its lack of diagonal avenues, 
it would seem unwise to arbitrarily cut such thoroughfares through 
the city, both on account of increasing the already undue percentage 
of street area and because of the excessive cost of such an under- 
taking. Therefore, to supply the need of numerous small areas for 
parks and sites for statuary, fountains and the like, we must turn to 
the broad, rectangular streets themselves. 

We believe such features, which are so necessary to any 
city's interest, convenience and beauty, may be quite happily and 
successfully treated by using the centers of certain streets and their 
intersections with other streets for this purpose. 

Monuments may be erected at such intersections and command 
splendid vistas from four directions, looking over smooth lawns 
and between rows of stately trees. Fountains may receive like treat- 
ment or be placed on park strips between blocks, vistas being thus 
obtained from two directions. 

Some of the broadest parked areas might serve the use of 
"breathing spots," and be provided with seats and benches, es- 
pecially where there was no park or public square in the vicinity ; 
in fact, such use might often obviate the necessity of acquiring 
small public squares in certain portions of the city. 

The lines of vision affording the most extended vistas — caused 
usually by the variations in grade — should be very carefully pre- 
served, so that views of the most notable structures might not suf- 
fer detraction by the intrusion of less important details placed in 
the foreground. In other words, such use of the parked strips 
must not be overdone ; good taste and sound judgment are of 
prime necessity in this as in all other matters pertaining to the 
beautifying of a city. 

The entire care of and responsibility for such monuments and 

* White throws off while black absorbs heat. For this reason very dark material would retain 
heat late in the evening after sun-down. A neutral tint would probably prove most satisfactory. 


fountains, as well as for the parked strips along and through the 
centers of the streets and boulevards, and the trees and shrubs 
thereon, should be left to the park commission, and a liberal amount 
from the street fund placed at their disposal for maintenance, in- 
asmuch as it is relieving the street department of just so much la- 
bor and expense, and greatly reducing the area for that department 
to keep in repair. 

Moreover, this is the only way that such streets will be properly 
and uniformly cared for. On streets so treated and used as to be 
termed "boulevards," it might even be wisest to delegate the en- 
tire responsibility and care to the park department ; but as a ma- 
jority of Columbia's streets may and should have some treatment of 
the kind, this might prove too great a burden to the department, 
and therefore be inexpedient. 

All trees, the property of the city and not in the care of the de- 
partment, should be under the direct supervision and control of 
a complete tree warden.* 

He should have a thorough knowledge of trees and their habits 
of growth and understand how to properly care for them, and his 
decisions should be final. 

Elsewhere is given a detailed report of the street trees of Co- 
lumbia, but a few remarks here on this subject may be desirable. 
The streets of Columbia were, at one time, shaded by a magnifi- 
cent growth of oaks, apparently, for the most part, of the water, 
willow and laurel species. Today, fine specimens of these grand 
long-lived shade trees are so uncommon as to be almost landmarks, 
and the short-lived Celtis or hackberry, in all stages of decay, 
though occasionally to be seen in fine condition, is, for the most 
part, inadequately taking their place. 

The disastrous burning of the city during the civil war de- 
stroyed a great part of the fine larger trees for which the city was 
widely and justly noted, and neglect and decay have almost com- 
pleted the ruin. 

It is manifestly short-sighted to plant the city's streets with 
trees which have little to commend them but their quick growth, 
and which can never attain to the size or grandeur of our oaks, 
elms, maples and other native shade trees. 

There are perhaps a dozen or more species of native oaks alone, 
most of them to be found in or near Columbia, that are especially 
suitable for this purpose, besides many other varieties of trees eas- 
ily available and of distinctive character as shade trees. 

* This position might be held with good results by the park superintendent. 


It is from such material, if from any, that Columbia must, in 
time, replace what was once the crowning glory of the city. 

If properly planted and cared for, it is surprising what rapid 
growth this desirable class of street trees really makes, particularly 
in the mild climate of the South. But warm, moist conditions are 
also peculiarly favorable to decay, and it is of the first importance 
that injuries to trees be treated promptly and decay arrested. 

Trees planted too closely are especially susceptible to the in- 
vasion of fungous diseases, and this trouble can be guarded against 
only by giving each tree abundant space, and letting in light 
and air. In planting street trees in northern cities, owing to rig- 
orous climatic conditions, the authorities are compelled to use the 
most well-developed nursery-grown trees obtainable, with adequate 
root systems and symmetrical tops, and pay high prices for them. 
The growth is in every way fostered by careful planting and prun- 
ing, in order that the tree may have abundant food and room to 
properly develop under most favorable conditions. Even so, it 
ordinarily takes many years to bring the trees to a reasonable size 
that will shade the sidewalks and street. 

In the cities of the South* the usual method employed is to 
select an oak, maple or hackberry tree in the thick shaded forest, 
dig it by cutting off all its roots to within a few inches of the butt, 
and, after trimming it by decapitating the entire branch system, 
plant what is left in the shape of a stunted pole or big stick, in a 
"hole" possibly a foot or two in diameter. 

Strange enough, so prodigal is Nature, and so wizard-like 
the soil under the warm, sunny skies of the South, that even 
the first rains usually start latent buds into growth, new roots 
strike into the soil, and in a surprisingly short time what might be 
called a shade tree results. It is usually one-sided, however, with 
a thick cluster of over-vigorous shoots at the extreme top, some- 
what resembling a crow's nest, and retains this appearance for 
years, until many limbs die from crowding, and the tree possibly, 
but rarely, regains its natural vigor and symmetrical shape. But 
in most cases, even where the tree has a pleasing appearance and 
good shape, its early wounds have never healed and an examina- 
tion shows decayed limbs and a hollow trunk, giving the tree a 
short life at best, — the prey of passing storms and a menace to the 
safety of the passer-by. Such street trees can never be seriously 
considered as even reasonably satisfactory or permanent. 

* Note tree-planting in Augusta, Georgia, on Broad street, in Birmingham, Alabama, on 19th 
and 20th streets, and many examples in Columbia. 


With careful observance of the proper rules for tree planting, 
and with the right selection of trees, Columbia may soon com- 
pletely transform its streets into permanent, well-shaded avenues. 


The time when a maze of overhead wires for different purposes 
supported by a forest of bare poles rising from the sidewalks and 
curbings was considered the sign of a city's prosperity is past, 
unless, indeed, it be in the small rustic village endeavoring to swell 
prematurely into a city by copying the worst features of the city's 
larger activities. 

Fortunately for Columbia's trees, the broad streets have made 
it possible to separate the lines of poles from the rows of trees, at 
least in most cases. But while saving the trees from the usual 
disastrous injuries so common where trees and poles alternate in 
the same line along the street, it has by no means resulted in an 
improved appearance to the streets themselves; for the separate 
long lines of poles, with their weight of arms and wires, stand out 
in bold, unhappy relief, block after block, unbroken save where 
other streets crossing at right angles carry similar burdens with 
not so much as an insulator hidden by the protecting verdure of 
the trees. 

Unquestionably, the only satisfactory way of disposing of these 
wires is to eventually place them underground. But it would 
hardly seem feasible or just to the companies operating the sys- 
tems to compel them to do so without giving due notice and grant- 
ing reasonable time. 

The soft subsoil on which Columbia rests, and the absence of 
heavy frost at any time of the year, would seem to make possible 
the placing of underground conduits comparatively easy. And yet, 
to place Columbia's entire system of wires under ground, unless 
through a short series of years, would entail burdensome, and, we 
fear, unreasonable expense. 

It should be undertaken on the principal business and residen- 
tial streets first, and extended as rapidly as possible over the rest of 
the city at a specified mileage per annum. Permits for the erec- 
tion of new lines overhead should not be granted, at least on streets. 

Should an alley system be adopted, as suggested later, all poles 
and wires might be removed to it, thus practically ridding the 
streets of their presence at once, except where the wires crossed 
from block to block, and giving perhaps more time to finally place 


them underground. This, we believe, would give the greatest satis- 
faction to all concerned, and open a way to dispose of a vexing 
problem of vital importance to the immediate and future welfare 
and appearance of the city. 


In addition to the wide streets, another unique feature of the 
existing city plan, differing radically from the plan adopted in 
most cities, is the system of very large square blocks, measuring 
400 feet on each side. 

In planning the Capitol City of Columbia* it seems that the 
founders had a totally different conception of its destiny and uses 
than is warranted in the light of successive events since 1865, 
which have wrought such complete social and industrial changes 
throughout the entire South. 

This original plan contemplated not an industrial city of large 
population with solidly built-up business blocks, vast manufactur- 
ing plants and the objective point of trunk railroad lines ; but 
rather a quiet, dignified center, around which the representatives of 
the people of the entire state of South Carolina might assemble to 
deliberate and enact laws, and a fitting place of residence for the 
state's executive department. It was to be primarily this and in 
consequence Columbia naturally became a leading social and edu- 
cational center. 

These large blocks, each containing nearly four acres, were de- 
signed for private ownership, estates occupying the entire area 
or the blocks being divided into two, lour or eight parts, as re- 
quirements demanded. Thus abundant room was available not 
only for the landlord's residence of ample dimensions, but for a 
lawn with its well-ordered arrangement of trees, flowers and shrub- 
bery. The rear was usually occupied by the kitchen, with its gar- 
den supplying fresh fruits and vegetables, the buildings in which 
the slaves and other servants were housed, and finally by the 
stables, well filled with fine horses and equipages, the whole often 
surrounded by a high brick wall ensuring privacy. Such an ar- 
rangement was almost ideal fifty years ago, and would be so today, 
no doubt, in a city concerned with government and social functions 
alone, and with a limited population! represented almost entirely 

♦Laid out and incorporated in 1787. The Legislature met for the first time in 1789.— South 
( 'arolina Resources, page 699. 

t Columbia's population in 1820 was 4,000 and in 1880 only 10,036, an average gain in 60 years 
of but 100 souls per year. 


by freeholders and their servants. The few fine old estates or gar- 
dens which remain today even partially intact, should be carefully 
preserved, for their historic interest and great landscape value. 

However well the size and shape of the city blocks suited pre- 
vious conditions, it is very apparent that as the city is now develop- 
ing they are not only awkward and inconvenient, but inadequately 
meet the city's growing needs. On their future proper treatment 
will depend to a marked degree the health, cleanliness and appear- 
ance of the entire city ; therefore, let us first carefully consider their 
disadvantages and then see if this unusual size and shape may not 
be utilized so as to be of real benefit. 

At present many blocks in the business district on Main street 
are built up almost solidly on the four frontages, the depth of 
building around the square averaging probably less than 50 or 60 
feet ; but allowing even 75 feet for the average depth of buildings, 
this leaves an irregular area in the center of the block of 62,500 
square feet, or considerably over one-third of the total area ; and 
it is safe to assume that there are few, if any, blocks in the city that 
can show even one-half of their surface actually covered with 

These areas eventually become totally inaccessible except by 
narrow private passageways, or through the buildings themselves. 
It is but natural to find that they are used as dumps, for the stor- 
age of boxes, barrels, and all sorts of refuse and waste, for decay- 
ing vegetable matter and garbage of every description, — a constant 
menace to the health of the city, an ever-increasing danger be- 
cause of inadequate fire protection and a stench in the nostrils of 
Columbia's citizens. This condition also makes necessary the re- 
ceiving of all supplies and the eventual disposal of ashes and gar- 
bage by way of the front doors, blocking up the sidewalks and 
impeding street traffic. 

In the best residential parts of the city the need for relief is not 
so apparent, the centers of the blocks being occupied to an extent 
by gardens, though even here household supplies must be received 
and garbage disposed of by way of the street in front. 

But a visit to the tenement districts discloses a condition, from 
a sanitary standpoint, worse, if anything, than in the business 
blocks. A trip through parts of the section bounded by Assembly, 
Plain, Gadsden and Pendleton streets, where tenements of every 
description cover blocks in every conceivable way and with an al- 
most total lack of regard for sanitation, will convince the observer 
that not only are such unwieldy blocks a disadvantage if allowed 


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to be built over indiscriminately, but that the city should endeavor 
to improve the general sanitary conditions in such localities as this 
without delay. 

We fully believe, however, that if properly treated, the size and 
shape of Columbia's city blocks may be made one of the most for- 
tunate and distinctive features of the city's plan. The first step 
recommended is the establishment of a complete system of alleys 
or very narrow streets through the centers of the blocks. A map 
should be prepared on a large scale showing the ownership of each 
lot and building in the city, with their assessed valuations, and the 
property affected by either a north and south or east and west sys- 
tem (generally a north and south system paralleling the principal 
streets would seem most advisable) or both. These considerations 
and many others including grades, and the probable lines giving 
greatest service, must determine a final alley plan. Obviously the 
alleys should be arranged in continuous lines where possible. 

The title to such alleys should in all cases rest with the city. 
The alleys, if twenty to twenty-five feet wide, or even less, would 
not only serve the purpose above referred to, but could easily carry 
the wire systems of the city, and have all future sewer- and water- 
pipes laid in them, thus, to an extent, doing away with the damage 
to trees and pavements, and the interruption to traffic caused by the 
consequent tearing up of streets, which is a perpetual nuisance in 
any city. 

This system of alleys will undoubtedly increase valuations, and 
should thus more than pay for its cost in time, outside the unusual 
benefits it will bestow upon the city. But, even if costly, early action 
seems imperative, and each day's delay but adds to the difficulty 
and expense of satisfactorily solving the problem. 

With alleyways established, a rear entrance is effected to every 
lot in each block, both in the residence and business districts. A 
garden for flowers, fruits and vegetables may then occupy the rear 
of each lot and yet leave ample room to place the house a reason- 
able distance back from the street. Business blocks may be treated 
differently, with either a large central court used in common, pos- 
sibly with a drinking-fountain, or with some formal-garden arrange- 
ment in the back yard of each quarter section of the block. Thus, 
not only would congestion of population be effectually checked, 
and every citizen in every part of the city enjoy abundant breath- 
ing space and daily contact with "nature outdoors," but the city 
would truly become a city of trees, gardens and fountains, — an 
idealized urban community. 





"Even the costliest municipal edifices, well as they may serve thtir 
purposes, sooner or later fall into ruin. They begin to deteriorate at 
the very start, and, though they may remain as architectural monuments 
for one or two centuries, their duration is as naught in comparison with 
that of the public pleasure playground, whose beauty increases, whose 
value augments, as the years go 0)1." 

Conceding the necessity and importance of a park system for 
Columbia, the considerations governing the proper planning of such 
a system may be summed up as follows : 

1st. The amount of park area that will adequately satisfy the 
needs of the present population and anticipate, so far as possible, 
future growth. 

2d. Cost ; the selection of property with a view to its availabil- 
ity, so that the cost of acquiring, improving and maintaining it 
properly may be within reasonable limits. 

3d. Adaptability. The choice of locations that are best adapted 
to the various purposes for which the parks will be used, and, 
further, be conveniently accessible from the different parts of the 

4th. The relative positions of the different units, with a view 
to connecting them, so far as practicable, by boulevards or parkways. 

Taking up the questions in their order, it is not easy to say off- 
hand, or even by comparison with other cities, what percentage of 
a city's area should be properly applied to park purposes. Physical 
conditions and the density and character of population should un- 
doubtedly have an important bearing in determining this question. 

A mere comparison of the area devoted to park purposes in dif- 
ferent cities as related to their population, while interesting, would 
give little tangible results if considered alone, although it seems 
certain that the ratio of park area adequate to the needs of a com- 
munity increases with the growth of population. A majority of 
cities have confessedly far too little space devoted to park uses. 

G. A. Parker, the leading authority in America on park sta- 
tistics, says on this subject : 

"One-twentieth of the city area should be reserved for parks 
and squares. A playground 300 feet square, at least, should be al- 
lowed to every square mile, and in densely populated districts, 
more than one. 


"Four small squares, of at least one-half acre each, should 
be allowed to the mile, and at the rate of sixty to eighty* acres 
for every 1,000 acres the city may contain, should be separated 
out for one or more large scenic parks. In the most dense por- 
tions of some cities, the proportion of public grounds is over 
forty per cent. From what light I have, it would seem as if there 
should be no less than one acre of parks to 200 population." f 

" Already eighteen cities have more than that." 

If we use this ratio to illustrate, and accept Columbia's popu- 
lation as 35,000 within the corporate limits, this would give ap- 
proximately 175 acres on a population basis, and 125 to 225 acres 
on an area basis, as the proper amount to set aside for park 

If we estimate "greater" Columbia's population at 50,000 and 
the city limits as extended one mile to the north, east and south, 
or three times its present area, which would really be the only way 
these figures would apply to Columbia, if at all, we find 250 acres 
as the proper amount on a basis of population, and 375 to 675 acres 
on a basis of area, to be used for parks at the present time. Should 
Columbia's population increase largely or its ultimate limits be 
even further extended, the reasonable park area would increase 

In Part III of this report will be found tables, compiled from 
the statistical department of the United States Department of 
Commerce and Labor, January i, 1903, giving the park statistics 
of twenty-one leading southern cities of 28,000 population and 
over, with similar statistics from a few other American cities. 
These tables, we believe, will prove of the greatest interest and are 
not without great value in the present discussion. 

Columbia's wide streets will not take the place of a park sys- 
tem, the need of which the city is now feeling with increasing 
urgency. If a park system is to be had at all, suitably satisfying 
the requirements not only of the present but of the future, an ade- 
quate plan must now be made and the land secured without delay. 
In considering the second question, that of cost, and securing 
the most available land that may be acquired, improved and main- 
tained at reasonable expense, it is fortunate to find that property 
of low assessed valuation, and industrially most unproductive, is 

* Ten acres in playgrounds and squares and 80 acres in large parks out of each thousand acres 
equals about one-eleventh of a city's total areas, or 9 per cent. 

t Lynn, Mass., has one acre of parks to every 28 population ; Los Angeles one acre to 30 popu- 
lation and many other cities a showing of one acre for less than 100 population. On the Los 
Angeles basis, Greater Columbia should now have over 1,500 acres in parks. 


often the most useful and easily improved and maintained as parts 
of a park system. Here, also, it is hard to fix a ratio and to say 
definitely what amount a city should spend to construct and main- 
tain its parks, reckoning upon a basis of population. 

Mr. Parker's figures, made after careful investigation, are again 
worthy of consideration. On the basis of one acre of parks to each 
200 population, he says, " If the income for parks per capita is a 
little over one cent a week, that is sixty cents per year, then such 
income for 200 people is $120, which is a good average amount for 
maintaining an acre of parks. Then, also, if the cost of construc- 
tion is $200 per acre, — and it usually costs that to do thorough 
work,*— and the amount is raised by sale of bonds, the amount of 
bonds sold would be $10 per capita, not a burdensome or unusual 

"The per capita cost for expenses of the city for all purposes 
is usually from $25 to $40 ; f therefore sixty cents per capita for 
parks is not excessive, and if this is considered the annual fee for 
the year's enjoyment, the investment is a safe one, for the land 
can always be sold for more than it costs. 

"Besides, the city's parks, if properly located and developed 
and cared for, always increase the value of all the other property 
in the city, and the increased value which it creates increases the 
taxes sufficiently in the end to entirely pay for the first cost of the 
park and for its annual care. In large cities, parks lessen more 
often than increase the tax rate, and are, in fact, not only self- 
supporting, but are a source of property to the city. This has 
been demonstrated by several cities." 

It is extremely important that the many different uses of parks 
be borne in mind continually, not only after construction, when the 
parks are in daily use, but in selecting locations. Many of our 
largest and finest American parks are planted almost entirely with 
the native trees, shrubs and plants collected in their immediate 
vicinity, thus saving great cost and securing the most permanent 
results and the best possible natural landscapes.]; 

* For the South, with its climatic and other advantages, we consider these two last estimates 
excessive, and in this we are confirmed by Mr. Parker himself. It seems probable that the 
figures might be reduced one-third or even one-half, and still be safe. 

t The average per capita cost in the twenty-one largest southern cities is but $15.78 (1903). 

X " Much of the waste land about our towns is already grown up with native trees and vines. 
I have been arguing for years that a park in its planting need not be costly. We need to use only 
the vegetation which is native to Iowa to make our town park as beautiful as any in the land, 
indeed more beautiful than it can be made in any other way. Our own vegetation, our oaks, our 
lindens, our hazels, our sumacs, our wild grapes, and creepers did once clothe these hills and 
banks with summer beauty, and autumn glory, and the plants will make all such locations splen- 
did again if we but afford them a chance. 

"Minneapolis did not ask for tree ferns and palm trees to make the parks the pride of the 
town and of the Mississippi Valley; she has used conditions as she found them, with results we 
see."— The Present Status of Iowa Parks, Thomas H. MacBRIDE. 


Playgrounds should not only be located where the ground is 
fairly level and suitable for games and gymnasium apparatus, but 
in the centers of populous districts and in such relation to each 
other that every child has ready access to one within at least a few 
blocks of his home. And so with athletic fields, squares, small 
parks, large scenic parks, historic or forest reservations, each 
should be selected with a view to its especial fitness to serve a 
special purpose, bearing in mind convenience and accessibility. 

"Public grounds should meet the needs of all classes — from 
the baby who first sees the park in a baby carriage, and progresses 
to sand gardens, swings, ball grounds, parades, love-making, to 
the man of affairs, who seeks rest from over-work, and old age, who 
needs them for relief from the burdens of declining years. Each 
stage of life takes different things from the parks, and, therefore, 
they should be so constructed that all ages and conditions can find 
their needs met at one and the same time, without disturbing each 

Finally, the connecting links of a park system should be care- 
fully considered and provided for in the original plans. They not 
only lend dignity and importance to the parks themselves, but sup- 
ply continuous and charming drives between the parks, and make 
the parks accessible from all parts of the city by way of beautiful 
and worthy approaches. No city's parks can truly be called a 
"system" unless the principal ones at least are so connected. 


As a southern city, if Columbia would seek the ideal, it must be 
along lines that will truly express the best in southern traditions, 
accomplishments, and hopes and aims for the future. As it grows, 
it should, each day, reflect more of that which is most worthy in 
southern life and character. 

Its dwellings, public buildings, parks, streets and exterior 
adornments are the exponents by which its culture, intelligence 
and enterprise will, in the future, be judged by its own citizens as 
well as by the outside world. 

Right principles may and should be freely sought for and 
adopted, no matter what the source ; but their application should 
be distinctively southern, and their adaptation such as to best meet 
the needs of the city's own people. 

Undoubtedly, these needs will multiply and become more com- 
plex as the community grows in population and attainments; yet 


we cannot but think that the highest ideals in public as in home life 
will always be marked by simplicity of expression and entire lack of 
the display that serves only for mere passing show. 

Columbia, with its present magnificent opportunities and posi- 
tion of prominence as capital of the state, may well become the 
center for all that is highest and best in South Carolina civic art 
and life, and be the source to which the other cities and towns of 
the state and their citizens will come for guidance and inspiration. 
Columbia can reach the highest development by taking advan- 
tage of its natural opportunities of location. As the city spreads, 
it should anticipate growth, and thus not only save great cost, but 
compel development along approved lines. 

In his report to the New York Improvement Commission on 
Civic Art in northern Europe, Milo Roy Maltbie says, "The ad- 
vantage of laying out the street plan in advance of population may 
also be illustrated by reference to a Brussels suburb. The city 
officials, noting the steady growth of the town, perceived that in a 
few years houses would be springing up in this new locality. Re- 
calling the bad effects of haphazard expansion and the great ex- 
pense of rearranging streets after a district is built up, they at- 
tacked the problem in advance, with most excellent results. A 
beautiful park was laid out with trees, fountains, statuary and floral 
displays. Diagonal streets with pleasing vistas were provided. 
Streets of generous width and well adapted to rapid transportation 
followed. Trees were planted along many of the less important 
streets as well as the boulevards. A new suburb was thus planned 
from its inception with comparatively little expense and no incon- 
venience to the public and according to plans made in advance." 

The architecture of Columbia's public buildings and business 
blocks should be carefully considered, so that they may be con- 
sistent and harmonious, and a pleasing sky-line presented from all 
parts of the city. "Skyscrapers " have no place in any city outside of 
a metropolis, where land values are excessive and business and 
population congested to an extreme degree. High business blocks 
detract from a city's appearance, and not only damage the street per- 
spective, but belittle the effect of monumental public buildings. 

It hardly seems probable that Columbia's business needs will 
ever require buildings more than six stories in height, and, if this is 
so, they should be carefully restricted in the future. Southern 
cities especially should seek to avoid crowding and a congestion of 
population, and should secure the maximum amount of air and light 
possible. Tall buildings are not conducive to the best conditions. 


The types of architecture should be confined to the best of those 
usually obtaining in warm latitudes. 

So with the parks and gardens, they should be essentially 
southern parks and gardens, in their best expression, and not 
weak imitations of their northern prototypes, or even direct copies 
of the Italian or other gardens typical of warm countries. We be- 
lieve, however, that development along the latter lines will more 
nearly meet the requirements of the South than strictly natural 
treatment most common even in city parks in England and 
America. The larger scenic parks should, of course, have their nat- 
ural landscapes preserved and accentuated ; but even here it is the 
southern landscape that is desirable, with its luxuriant growth and 
soft effects, and harsh treatment is nowhere permissible. 

The southern park is a problem which still remains to be suc- 
cessfully worked out, but its bearing on the happiness and well 
being of the people of the South is so vital that its study cannot 
be undertaken too quickly or its solving accomplished too soon. 

Undoubtedly, water should play an important part in the treat- 
ment, not only of the southern park but of the city itself. Where- 
ever practicable and in good taste, fountains should be erected at 
street intersections and in other places in the city. They would en- 
hance the beauty of the city many fold, cool and purify the atmos- 
phere, and refresh the citizens through the long summer months. 
With Columbia's unlimited water-supply, an opportunity pre- 
sents itself to notably beautify the city and at reasonable cost, for 
most often a pool and simple jet is the most appropriate and ser- 
viceable fountain possible of construction. Where set fountains are 
erected, they should be in good taste and durable, and in no event 
should cheap iron structures be allowed. 

It is often the good fortune of a city to be presented with me- 
morial parks, fountains, statues, and occasionally buildings ; and 
the donors, having the best interests of the city at heart should be, 
and usually are, quite willing to have plans submitted for approval 
by competent authority, so that incongruous structures, out of 
harmony with the surroundings, may be avoided. 

In suitable locations public baths should be established to care 
for the health, comfort and happiness of the rapidly increasing 
laboring population of the city. 

Columbia seems to be in urgent need of adequate hospital 
facilities.* For obvious reasons, a quiet, central location should be 

* Since writing this, an important addition has been made to the city hospital, at its pre- 
sent location. 


chosen, especially where the same buildings must serve general 
and emergency cases. 

The block bounded by Plain, Henderson, Washington and 
Barnwell streets, or the block to the west occupied by the Colum- 
bia Female College, would be admirably adapted for the purpose, 
both of these blocks facing a proposed park, which would afford 
convalescents a pleasant outlook. A southern general hospital, it 
would seem, should be located with especial reference to avoiding 
tenement districts and localities where continual unpleasant odors 

As a well-planned and well-ordered residence has its different 
rooms, each set apart for a distinct use, so a well-planned city 
should have its manufacturing or industrial, its business and shop- 
ping, its public service, and the residential districts be kept distinct, 
the city protecting each district by carefully restricting the erec- 
tion of buildings that would injure its legitimate use and appearance. 

The typical mill village, usually on the outskirts of the modern 
manufacturing city of the South, is perhaps the most distressing 
and unpleasant feature of the landscape, as viewed from the car- 
window ; and closer inspection lends little, if any, charm to the 
view, the small squatty, once white, double tenements stretching 
at right angles in rigid, disheartening rows, the back yards con- 
tinuous with no provision for privacy, and often unsanitary in the 
extreme. Commercialism rarely recognizes any law other than that 
of dollars ; but it is fortunate that many mill owners throughout 
the South now realize that a well-ordered, clean village, planned 
with winding shaded streets that do not violate the contour of 
every hill and valley, and with schools, playgrounds, gymna- 
siums and other blessings that make for the moral and physical 
well-being and happiness of its employees, means better labor, 
better products, larger out-put, and thereby greater profits ; and 
many of them are now acting on this knowledge. 

The people of Columbia should be vitally interested in these 
mill villages, which must eventually become, and are even now in 
all but name, an integral part of the city. 

It is noticeable in many southern cities that curbings are set too 
shallow and public construction generally is not carried out with a 
view to the greatest permanency. This is the natural consequence 
of a mild climate where the ravages of frost do not have to be con- 
tended with. As a result, however, curbing in time becomes mis- 
placed, gutters are broken, and uneven sidewalks and leaning walls 
are sure to result. The best in municipal construction is none too 


good for the South, as well as for other sections of the country, and 
in the end it is cheapest. 

We are not altogether in sympathy with the movement that 
would do away with all walls, fences or hedges around residences. 
On streets well built up, a uniform lawn area extending from the 
houses to the sidewalk undoubtedly adds greatly to the park-like 
effect of the street and to the appearance of the residences them- 
selves ; as may be seen in such notable examples as Delaware ave- 
nue, in Buffalo, and parts of Euclid avenue, in Cleveland, which 
may well be imitated with profit in many cases. 

Yet the privacy of the home is paramount, and the rear of dwell- 
ings may with every propriety be protected from public gaze by 
plantings of shrubbery, hedges, vine-covered fences, or in any way 
that good taste and the wishes of the owner may dictate. Such 
screens may often start from the rear or front wall of the house or 
from a convenient point between. 

The gardens of the South which satisfied our ancestors, and 
reflected their character and nobility, should not be replaced by the 
"new South." Maintain them not only as monuments to the past, 
but a blessing for the present and inspiration for the future ! 

Keep the old box hedges, the " Japonicas," crape myrtle, mag- 
nolias and jasmines, the vine-covered walls ; set them in straight 
lines and in formal array ; revive the dignified colonial architecture 
and the charming old-fashioned gardens, letting them still express 
that unbounded courtesy and hospitality which has made the 
South's people known and loved everywhere ! 


Should Columbia undertake, in the near future, extensive im- 
provements of any character, it might be seriously hampered at the 
outset by an inadequate or restrictive city charter. 

All progressive cities have found it necessary to provide new 
charters, or many amendments to the old, at certain intervals. In 
very recent years municipal government in America has been rap- 
idly and fortunately improving, and far more thought and study is 
today given to a city's charter than formerly ; for it is found that 
the fixed provisions of a charter have a most vital bearing on the 
government of a city and the welfare of its citizens, — more, per- 
haps, than any other single factor. 

An analysis of the principles and the result of their application 
in the most successful city charters, both American and foreign, 


are now in available form for reference ;* and no city at the pres- 
ent time can afford not to keep up with modern municipal prog- 
ress and avail itself of all the best that may be applicable to local 

The unfortunate arrangement of the railroads which enter and 
completely encircle the city has already seriously hampered the 
best development of the streets and certain sections of the city, and 
stands in the way of much legitimate future development. Tracks 
occupy many streets and cross others at grade, while two freight 
and repair yards,f at least, on opposite sides of the city, begrime 
and disfigure what otherwise would be a continuation of the choic" 
est residential sections. 

It is, perhaps, needless to say that these unfortunate conditions 
might easily have been avoided with foresight, or had there been 
any influence exerted to properly safeguard the interests of the 
city. Many of the difficulties are now, no doubt, beyond remedy, 
except at unwarrantable cost. A lesson for the future may be 
wisely drawn, however, for the time has come when railroads may 
not, through corporate greed, arbitrarily and in total disregard of 
a city's best welfare, enter and despoil its beauty and become a 
constant and unnecessary menace to the lives and happiness of its 
citizens, unless, indeed, it be with the consent of the citizens 

It would have been wise, and may even yet be feasible, for the 
Seaboard Air Line to enter the city by paralleling the Southern 
Railway's tracks, and to combine .passenger stations, to the infi- 
nitely greater convenience and advantage of the city and of pas- 
sengers, if not of the railroads themselves. This would seem 
possible, notwithstanding the great expense already incurred by the 
Seaboard Air Line in cutting and filling into the city by an ap- 
parently most unreasonable location, and in building its own pas- 
senger station. 

At all events, the railroad problem in Columbia must sooner 
or later be more reasonably and logically solved than at present, 
and delay but adds to the complications and makes the best solu- 
tion more difficult and expensive. 

A commission of experts should be appointed by the Legislature 
on which the state, the city and the different railroads are suitably 
represented, to study and report upon a plan that would simplify 

♦See" Municipal Progress." Also the new charter of the city of Grand Rapiils, Michigan, 
adopted this year U905). 

t Southern Railway repair shops and freiglt yards at Blanding and Laurel streets, and Sea- 
board Air Line yards occupying Sidney Park. 


the trackage, eliminate grade crossings, and, if possible, arrange for 
all freight and passenger handling in the southwestern part of 
the city where already the chief manufacturing industries are 

The many country roads entering Columbia should receive the 
earnest consideration of the city ; it is evident that all that con- 
tributes to the improvement of the surrounding country and that 
aids in building up the outlying districts is, to a greater degree, 
of benefit to the business interests of the city. Furthermore, these 
roads, for the most part, pass through regions naturally beautiful, 
and when improved will become attractive and valuable pleasure 
drives. The city is fortunate in possessing granite of a fair grade 
for road-building purposes, and it could be put to no more profit- 
able use than in macadamizing a certain mileage of these roads 
annually. But first the roads should be surveyed and good grades 

The street railway lines on residential streets and boulevards 
should be located in the centers of the streets and their road-beds 
grassed. This is now a common practice in progressive cities, and 
takes away much of the always disagreeable appearance of the 
tracks. Ornamental trolley-poles may also be used with good 
effect. ° 

The distribution of all wires using the city's streets or alleys 
should be reduced to a system and be under the control of a capa- 
ble administrative officer, with ample legal powers to protect the 
city's rights and interests. 

The blocking of existing or future streets with public or private 
buildings should be carefully guarded against. Science Hall on 
Sumter street, the City Market on Assembly street and the State 
Hospital, the latter actually terminating no less than four existing 
and many more possible streets, are examples. The location of 
the State Hospital is especially unfortunate, and it is to be hoped 
that the suggested plan of removing it to a location suitably dis- 
tant from the city may, in the near future, be realized. 

South of the city, the Capitol City Mill stands directly in the 
way of a future extension of Main street. It would seem as if this 
had happened in utter perversity, for if there is any street which 
can be directly continued to the south with advantage, it is Main 

Street signs and fixtures, commemorative and memorial tablets, 
the decoration of the fronts of business houses, the sightly as well 
as sanitary disposal of garbage, are all problems that bear directly 


on a city's pleasing appearance in just so far as thought and good 
taste are used in considering them. 

Columbia is no more free perhaps than are other cities from the 
curse of advertising signs and the bill- board. It is strange how 
the average American has come to accept these desecrations almost 
as a part of nature. In traveling, he finds the entire landscape 
from station to station apparently owned by these despoilers of 
nature — the bill-posters who thickly cover with daubs of paint and 
flaunting posters, all available buildings, fences, trees, rocks and 
other features. Throughout the city the same disregard is shown 
for the eternal fitness of things, and scarcely a view may be had in 
any direction or on any street that is not blotted by the persistent 
presence of the execrable bill-board. Much can be done to abate 
this growing and intolerable nuisance, by educating public taste 
and opinion, and by enacting and enforcing suitable city ordinances 
and state laws. The record of many municipalities proves that it 
is an evil that can be successfully fought in many ways. 

As soon as practicable, the city should establish * a nursery 
that would supply the proper trees, well grown, for Columbia's 
streets, to replace those missing or that may need removal, and to 
plant streets where little or no planting now exists. 

Columbia needs a modern cemetery, laid out on the "park" 
plan, and with provision made for perpetual care of lots and with 
other suitable restrictions. In no other way will a cemetery re- 
main permanently beautiful and a fit resting-place for the dead. 

The negro cemetery in its present condition is a disgrace to the 

The city's water-works (land around pumping station, reser- 
voirs, etc. ) should be parked and planted, and will serve as places of 
rest and refreshment to people living in the vicinity. In many 
cities they are often an important part of the park system itself. 

As the population of a commonweath increases, and as its nat- 
ural landscape features are encroached upon or even destroyed 
altogether, its citizens may be induced to take tardy action looking 
toward the permanent setting aside as state reservations, of nota- 
ble mountains, fine tracts of virgin forest, waterfalls and other 
natural scenery. 

If Columbia realizes its hopes of having the Congaree River 
made navigable from the southern limits of the city to the sea, an 
avenue will be opened by which it will be possible to operate 
pleasure craft for excursions down the river. Fringing the banks 

* Preferably in charge of a park department or city tree warden. 


of the river, at least as far as where its waters join the Wateree 
below Kingsville, is a magnificent growth of heavily timbered 
swamp forest almost tropical in luxuriance, and covering many 
thousands of acres. Undoubtedly, in time, this will disappear before 
the axe unless steps are taken for its protection, thus saving one of 
the finest natural features of the state from ruin and the wonderful 
beauty of the river's banks for the perpetual enjoyment of the 
people of Columbia and the state. 

It may be said that these swamp jungles are inaccessible and, 
therefore, in no danger of destruction,— and this was said of the 
Adirondacks and the White Mountains at one time,— but if so, no 
harm can come if the state should make a permanent reservation 
of a tract along the river banks wide enough to forever keep the 
wild beauty of the river inviolate. 

The people of Columbia should take peculiar interest in the es- 
tablishment of reservations, which will protect the banks of the 
Congaree River, and should endeaver to bring about a careful 
investigation to determine the feasibility of such a plan, so that 
definite action by the state might be made possible. 

So also with other state and national reservations that may 
have a bearing on the flow of the waters of the Congaree,* for as 
this river is one of the largest assets of the city, both commercially 
and esthetically, everything that may permanently affect it in any 
way should be a matter of deep concern to its citizens. 

Investigation shows that real-estate valuations (as assessed) in 
Columbia are unstable and uneven ; in fact, it appears that there 
is actually private property within the city limits on which no tax 
is being paid. 

Most of the land is assessed for only one-third to one-half its 
value as held by the owners, and in these ways the city is un- 
doubtedly losing a considerable annual income. 

It is difficult under such conditions to give, even approximately* 
estimates of the cost of acquiring park properties, but should the 
city condemn certain tracts, and a jury fix the valuations as now 
assessed, then the cost of a park system to the city would be very 
moderate. If, however, it were proved that such property was 
assessed greatly under its true valuation, then a general readjust- 
ment would be in order, and with its increased income the city 
could as easily meet the same improvements at larger cost. 

The only reasonable basis, therefore, on which we can give esti- 
mates is that of assessed valuations, and this we have done. The 

* Special reference is made to the proposed National Appalachian Forest Reserve. 


city itself can best determine how much these figures should be 

We would not give the impression that Columbia may be 
greatly improved, or such part of these suggestions as may seem 
good carried out without cost. But this is to a great extent a 
business proposition, and no business man objects to any cost pro- 
vided returns are adequate. We believe in this instance that they 
will be, and abundantly so, even from a purely pecuniary stand- 
point ; but in much greater measure in the increased health, happi- 
ness and comfort of every man, woman and child of Columbia. 

Begin with the most necessary and fundamental improvements. 
But we would again urge that haphazard work will in the end be 
most expensive, and that all improvements should be undertaken 
with a view to an ultimate homogeneous whole, and only after the 
careful consideration of a definite and comprehensive plan. 















A description of the areas recommended for present or future park purposes, 
either within or very near the present city limits, with their connecting 
links. Mention is also made of certain streets which, on account of their 
width and location, are adapted to special park uses, thus to an extent 
saving the purchase of land by the city for playgrounds and squares. 

It will be noted that the amount of land to be actually purchased 
for city parks is comparatively small when the results attained are 
considered ; for the city already possesses title to about one-third 
of these areas in streets. We believe no other city is so fortunate 
as Columbia in this respect. Again, practically all of this land is 
located where the valuation is low, — the result of its topography 
and unfitness for building and industrial purposes. 

Altogether, it would seem as if a favored combination of circum- 
stances has made it possible for Columbia to realize desirable con- 
ditions at a minimum outlay where other communities have paid 
excessive sums for similar benefits. 

It is not to be expected that all, or even a major portion of 
these parks will be purchased or improved at once ; but a fixed 
park policy may well be adopted and at least small beginnings 
made ; particularly where delay will make ultimate acquirements 
much more expensive, or where conditions are distressing and the 
need urgent. 

Reference is made to the maps accompanying this report, which 
show the location of all proposed parks, and their relative sizes. 

Sidney Park and Parkway 

At present, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad occupies what was 
originally known as Sidney Park. There are now no trees on this 
area worth mentioning. The Parkway extends down the small 
brook draining Sidney Park, to near its outlet at Gervais street, 
with sufficient land on either side for planting and park effects, and 
to make possible the construction of a driveway with good grades. 
A number of large pines are now standing near the railroad fills, 
and further down are a few more pines, many willows and a scat- 
tering growth of other trees and shrubs. Excepting in Sidney 
Park, which is graded down almost entirely to subsoils, it is safe 
to say that the soil is such as will grow all kinds of trees and shrubs 
after the usual necessary preparation. 

In Sidney Park the large level graded area might be made into 
a splendid athletic field, with drives, walks and seats on the high 


terraced ground above, from which the sports would be viewed as 
in a vast amphitheater. Open-air gymnasiums, children's play- 
grounds, flower beds and shrubbery would still leave room for ade- 
quate tree planting. Thus would advantage be taken of what is 
now a disfigurement to the city and a disheartening blot on the 
landscape. (See illustration on page 9). 

The Parkway would connect Sidney Park with the proposed 
Congaree Park and Riverway lying along the Congaree River, and 
entrance to it might be had at suitable intersecting streets. It 
is probable that a Parkway drive would run under the high em- 
bankment of the two railroads crossing it. The improvement of 
this park and parkway would not only clean out a very undesirable 
tenement district, but would greatly enhance the values of sur- 
rounding property. At present it is the greatest park need of 
Columbia and would eventually transform that entire section of 
the city. 

The total area of Sidney Park and Parkway is approximately 
sixty-three acres, of which thirteen acres in streets are now owned 
by the City.* The assessed valuation of Sidney Park is $33,000; 
of Sidney Parkway, #39, 000. f 

Congaree Park X 

This takes in the low, rich, alluvial lands on the western boun- 
dary of the city lying along the eastern bank of the Congaree River 
and mostly between and including the site of the "old canal" and 
the river, and extends from Gervais street to Lower street at the 
southwest corner of the city limits 

There is a beautiful growth of trees, shrubs and vines fringing 
the banks of the river and the many low, swampy ravines parallel- 
ing or draining into the river, though the number of species is few. 

The greater part of this land may be expected to produce the 
finest class of trees — most of the oaks, the elms, willows, gums, 
magnolias, the cypress and loblolly pine and many others will 
thrive here — and shrubs of many kinds. 

Fine views of the river and opposite shore may be had along its 
entire length. The overflow of the Congaree may in many places 

* The title to five acres of streets in Sidney Park has unfortunately been transferred by the 
city to private owners and would, of course, have to be again acquired. 

t The valuation for Sidney Park is for land alone; and does not include the buildings of the 
ice plant, or of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. The valuation of Sidney Parkway is $21,550 for 
land, and $17,450 for buildings. 

t For purposes of description we have given possibly appropriate names to the various pro- 
posed parks, which may be changed if desired by those in authority. 







The Civic League, Columbia, S. C. 



be governed and the ponds and ravines developed into spots of 
great beauty. Some fine stretches of meadow may also be pre- 
served. This would undoubtedly make one of the most beautiful 
in a chain of parks near the populous districts. 

This tract lies far below the general level, and would furnish 
many beautiful views to and from the higher parts of the city. It 
adjoins the proposed state reservation at Lower street (or below). 
At present it is practically undeveloped land and should be easily 
and cheaply acquired. Assessed valuation, $35,000; total area, ap- 
proximately 83 acres ; street area, approximately 26 acres. (See 
illustration on page 22.) 

Washington Park 

The slopes around the basin which forms the body of this area 
are well drained, except toward the bottom, which is a swamp in 
many places impassable. On the higher ground and facing Gervais, 
Pickens and Plain streets are a number of good residences and 
other buildings, but, for the most part, this tract is covered with 
cheap negro tenements and is a constant menace to the health of 
the city. We have spoken particularly of this section in the first 
part of this report. 

Next to Sidney Park, the securing and cleaning up of this area 
is perhaps the most urgent and important step to be taken in the 
immediate park improvement of the city. 

It would add greatly to this park to 
include the area lying beyond its eastern 
boundary between Greggs street and 
Laurens street. Assessed valuation of 
land, $44,550; buildings, $55,770 ; total, 
$100,320. Approximate total area, 45 
acres ; approximate street area, 9 acres. 

Conditions in Washington Park Area. Dumps, Negro Tene 



Forest Park 

Just back of the cemeteries and adjoining the State Farm is a 
deep north hollow approximating primitive forest conditions. 

On the steep slopes, which are more than ioo feet high near the 
mouth of this hollow and rapidly rise to the general plain of the 
surrounding country, there is a dominant growth of fine loblolly 
pine i to iy 2 feet in diameter and 60 to 75 feet in height, and an 
underwood of red and white oaks, dogwood, cercis, celtis, red 
maple, pignut and white hickories and hornbeam. In the bottom 
of the hollow and along the small stream which flows through it 
are groups of fine tupelo black gum and sweet-gum, and grape and 
honeysuckle vines reach almost to the tops of the highest trees in 
a luxuriant tangle of growth. 

From the high ridge on its northwest boundary splendid views 
of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers may be had, with the 
forests and plantations of Lexington county across these rivers 
stretching away for miles in the distance. 

There is no more charming or varied spot in the vicinity of 
Columbia, and it should be held forever as a wild forest park. 

A suitable entrance to it is necessary, and possibly a drive and 
walks through it should be constructed, but otherwise it is in reality 
a finished park of nature's wonderful planting. The fact that it is of 
little, if any, value for commercial purposes has, no doubt, preserved 
this beauty spot inviolate for the enjoyment of the people of Co- 
lumbia. Assessed valuation, $300. The approximate area is 15 acres. 


This includes both banks of the canal from Gervais street to the 
dam at the head of the canal, and would connect Congaree Park 
and Sidney Parkway with Richland Park, nearly two miles above 
the city limits. It would make a magnificent winding drive some 
three miles long, furnishing constantly changing views of the beauti- 
ful swift-flowing Congaree and Broad Rivers, with their many 
islands on one hand, and the quieter flowing canal on the other. 

The high river-banks are already protected with a beautiful 
growth of native trees and shrubs, and the banks of the canal would 
be greatly strengthened by a similar planting. 

It will be easy to construct a roadway averaging 18 feet wide 
the entire distance, and a fairly good dirt road now exists. 

There is nothing in the vicinity of Columbia that offers any- 

In Forest Park 


thing like the opportunities for a wonderful drive as this River- 
way ; in fact, but rarely does such an opportunity present itself to any 
city. The cost would be comparatively small when one realizes the 
remarkable results possible of attainment by using this long, narrow 
strip of land as a driveway. 

In any event, the city can never afford to lose its title to any 
portion of the banks of the Congaree and Broad rivers, within or 
near the city's limits. 

A bridge should span the canal at or near Lumber street con- 
necting with Elmwood avenue, another at some point above the 
State Farm, and still another at or near the canal dam. 

The dam and canal gates are very interesting and would sup- 
ply an attractive terminus to Riverway outside of Richland Park 

It is difficult to determine from existing maps even approxi- 
mately the area of this strip of land, but it would seem to contain 
about thirty acres. A narrow strip fringing the eastern shore of the 
canal and protecting it would contain from 40 to 50 acres. 

Richland Park 

The strong tendency of Columbia's residential growth is at 
present to the northward, and building and street extension is 
rapidly progressing at least two miles beyond Elmwood avenue. 
Topography and other considerations also would seem to logically 
indicate that for a number of years, at least, the greatest building 
expansion will be on the area forming the watershed of Smith's 

It is, therefore, of vital importance that new streets be planned 
in advance and on right principles. It would also seem most wise 
to set aside, before too late, a suitable tract of land for park uses 
large enough to treat in such a way that broad scenic and natural 
effects might be secured, as well as extended woodland drives — a 
treatment entirely impossible and undesirable in the smaller city 

Such a park should be central, and placed so as to be reasona- 
bly accessible from every part of the city by way of drives and 

The valley of Smith's Branch seems to offer ideal conditions 
for such a park, and, when improved, the adjoining land would be 
much more desirable for residences. 

The topography, forests and forest conditions of the valley of 

Plan of proposed artificial lake, Richland Park. Area about 14 acres 

Site of proposed artificial lake, Richland Park, North of Columbia 
Park. 14 acres may be flooded at little e 



this stream were, to an extent, examined from the canal dam on the 
Broad River to points one-half mile east and northeast of Winns- 
boro Road. The lower portion of the stream's valley is narrow and 
contracted, the slopes steep and in places precipitous, where the 
stream cuts through the high hills to the base level of the river. 
These hills are steeper on the south side of the stream, and in 
many places rise abruptly from its banks; and this condition con- 
tinues along its southern side to a point about two hundred yards 
above Winnsboro Road. These steep slopes are, for the most part, 
heavily wooded with fine pines, associated with gums, oaks and 
other trees, and to the westward with groves of hardwoods, oak, 
hickory and beech, alternating with thickets of younger pine, 
while kalmia or mountain laurel, dogwood and red-bud form a 
beautiful growth and skirt many of the rocky banks of the stream. 
North of the stream the topography is not so rigid. A gradual slope 
rises from the banks of the stream, eroded as it recedes into pic- 
turesque hollows and hills. While this side is largely cleared, there 
are some nice bits of woodland below the quarry site. 

At and below Winnsboro Road the marshy flood plain of the 
stream forms a natural lake site. A thick grove of hardwood would 
fringe the southern banks of the lake, clothing a steep hill which 
rises abruptly. Native black willows already grow along what 
would be the northern shore of the lake. A 12-foot dam would 
flood an area of about 14 acres, making a splendid sheet of water. 

Above the road the stream divides and its basin widens, the 
topography becoming undulating. It is largely under cultivation, 
but dotted at intervals with even aged groves of pure pine, with 
scant underwoods of dogwood, sourwood, post-oak, holly and 
gums. The largest park area lies below Winnsboro Road. 

The greatest expense of this park would be the original cost of 
the construction and maintenance of drives and paths, and properly 
caring for and improving the woodlands. 

If Columbia grows, as may be reasonably expected, the value 
of Richland Park to the city would be hard to estimate. Its as- 
sessed valuation is only $7,200 ; approximate total area, 450 acres. 

Hyatt Park 

At present this is an abandoned street railway park of con- 
siderable natural beauty. The woodland in Hyatt Park is limited 
to a small, but fine, grove of loblolly pine, which occupies the 
gentle slopes on either side of a small stream. This grove is prac- 


tically pure pine so far as the dominant trees are concerned, 
whose crowns rise go to no feet, on stems clear and free of limbs 
for 40 to 60 feet. Beneath the pines is a thin underwood in which 
holly, sweet and black gums, post-oak and cyrilla are conspicuous. 
The hollies are particularly fine. 

Care should be taken with this grove, as well as other pine 
groves which are much frequented, to preserve the leaf litter or 
mold formed of the pine needles, and neither have it raked up 
nor burned, and an undergrowth should be encouraged. The 
pines are sensitive to naked floors, and, as they become old, require 
for their best growth a moderately dense ground cover. 

It is hoped that this will be kept as a part of a system adjoining 
Richland Park and a connecting link by way of the street railway 
boulevard to Ridgewood Park, also at present the property of the 
street railway. Approximate area, 15 acres. 

Granby Athletic Field 

Between Assembly Street and Bluff Road is a level tract of 
ample size for making a fine athletic field and playgrounds. This 
would be very near the center of a large manufacturing district and 
supply an urgent need for good baseball and football grounds, ten- 
nis courts, etc., for the large number of employees in this section 
of Columbia. Estimated assessed valuatiou, $1,800 ; approximate 
area, 18 acres.* 

Rocky Branch Parkway 

From Granby Athletic Field to Rocky Branch Park a strip of 
land should be reserved along Rocky Branch of sufficient width to 
protect this small stream and for a pleasure driveway. It would 
be an interesting link connecting the parks, as well as is also 
necessary from a sanitary standpoint and to enable those from 
the Granby district to reach Rocky Branch Park by a direct route. 
Assessed valuation of land not estimated. Approximate total area, 
15 acres ; approximate street area, 6 acres. 

Rocky Branch Park 

Again, land of little building value and at present unimproved 
is chosen which will make a beautiful and interesting park in the 
southeastern part of the city. Through it runs the Rocky Branch, 
and there are a few good trees already growing along what would 

♦This area we have since enlarged to include the stream, the old water mill, and the splen- 
did forest. It is a very beautiful spot. 


be its northern and western boundary near the foot of the hill at 
Green and Pickens streets. There is a fine grove of pines, oaks 
and other trees above and west of the Southern Railway fill from 
College street to Gervais, and from the higher land splendid views 
of Shandon and the country beyond may be had. 

The cuts and fills of the Southern Railway in or paralleling 
Laurens street from Gervais to Wheat street would be within the 
area, and passengers coming into or passing through the city by 
this route would get a glimpse of the city "at its best." 

Valley Park, in Shandon, lies to the east and would really con- 
stitute a part of Rocky Branch Park, as would the section of Harden 
street between Gervais and Wheat or Rice streets. Assessed 
valuation of land, $7,500 (our estimate, and probably high). Ap- 
proximate total area, 75 acres ; approximate street area, 23 acres. 

By tunneling under the high railroad fill at or near Senate street, 
direct connection would be had with Washington Park. 

Capitol Park 

The two blocks comprising this park are very near the geo- 
graphical center of the city, and make a valuable beginning of a 
park system. 

There are some fine specimens of trees on this area, but, for the 
most part, they are crowded and starved, and are in need of prompt, 
efficient attention. The celtis (hackberry) can never make an 
adequate shade tree for use in this park, at least as a predominating 

This park should be properly laid out and cared for by the 
state, and only in this way will it ever become a fitting place for 
the chief building of the state. (See suggested plans on pages 
70 and 71). 

Capitol Park will always be one of the most invaluable breath- 
ing spots in the city. 

Senate, Assembly, Lower and Harden Streets, and 
Elmwood Avenue 

Columbia having an excessive street area, it would seem advi- 
sable to utilize such public space to the best advantage. 

The above streets, all of which are 150 feet wide, might not 
only serve as connecting links in the park system (laid out on 
Plan III), but certain parts of them might also be used for chil- 
dren's local playgrounds, outdoor gymnasia, and other like pur- 



poses. This would, to an extent, save the expense of securing 
other land, for there is no more important or necessary feature of 
a city's first improvement than small, open breathing spaces and 
playgrounds, easily accessible to every citizen. 

Conditions make Lower street of special value in this respect. 
Parts of certain other streets, such as Blanding and Pickens, should 
be considered as connecting links in the park system, and perhaps 
receive more early attention than others not so used. 

Other Squares and Playgrounds 

These should be established where, in the future, it may be 
found necessary, but it is probable that the park system suggested 
would supply nearly every section of the city, together with the 
broad streets utilized as suggested. 

As the city grows, the southwest section may need a few play- 
grounds set aside,_for instance, in the vicinity of the Southern Oil 
Mills, on Gadsden street. 

We would recommend the setting aside of the open lot at the 
corner of Lumber and Barnwell streets for a playground, possibly 
for colored children, and the splendid square on which the public 
school building is located should forever be kept for use as a school 
and playground. 


Ridgewood Park 

This is the property of the Columbia Street Railway Company. 
It is a scenic tract of exceptional beauty, and it may not be out of 
place to give a short description of it here. 

The growth is in places similar to that in Forest Park, approxi- 
mating virgin forest conditions, being formed of either old forest 
trees or very large second growth and containing many uncommon 
deciduous species which are not usually found in tracts of wood- 
land so near large towns. The forest on the alluvials along Crane 
Creek is formed of large virgin loblolly pine, white oak and basket- 
oak, associated with sweet-gum, black gum, water-gum and prob- 
ably tupelo, with some red maple, box elder, celtis and swamp 
Spanish oak (Quercus pagodcefotid). On the steep slopes short- 
leaf pine associated with scarlet, Spanish, black and post-oaks, dog- 
wood and an occasional southern maple make up the characteristic 


i. Campus South Carolina College. 2. Old Gen. Hampton Place (College for Women) Foun- 
tain and Wonderful Hox Hedges. 3. Old Mill (Granby Athletic Park). 4- Old Court House. 
5. First Paptist Church, where first Congress of Secession was held. 6. A Corner of the Formal 
Garden, College for Women. 7. Theological Seminary. 8. Pines on the Golf Links. 


The bluffs on the south bank of Crane Creek are high and very 
precipitous, with deep parallel ravines, and here again may be seen 
fine masses of mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) and many azaleas. 

Crane Creek offers splendid opportunities for safe canoeing, 
while a lake of considerable size might be made at reasonable ex- 
pense by constructing a dam where the stream breaks through the 
main ridge. The high surrounding bluffs would give charming 
views of the lake and the pleasure-boating on it. 

There are great possibilities in this tract for the future of Co- 
lumbia. At present it seems to be in wise hands, and the owners 
are preserving the natural beauties and developing the park for the 
enjoyment of the patrons of the street railway. 

Dents' Pond 

Lying directly on the Camden Road and about five miles from 
Columbia is Dents' Pond, an artificial lake covering perhaps a 
thousand acres. It is the only considerable body of water within 
easy reach of the city, and was evidently made long ago, for the 
shores have the fine growth and occasional sandy beaches of a nat- 
ural Jake. 

The shore-line is extremely interesting and beautiful, fine head- 
lands covered with verdure jutting into the lake with many shad- 
owed bays and inlets between, while a few picturesque islands dot 
the lake, adding interest and variety. 

East of the pond the steep slope is heavily wooded with tall 
and straight loblolly pines, which begin almost at the dam and ex- 
tend two-thirds of its length. This is a beautiful grove, free from 
undergrowth and brush and already much used by campers. The 
trees themselves are in excellent condition. 

At the north end of the pond are several feeding streams, bor- 
dered by swamps and reed thickets, several being of considerable 
width. The forests of the swamps are formed of gum, water-oaks, 
red maple and loblolly pine. The uplands between these feeding 
streams are very sandy and have considerable forests of long-leaf 
pine and scrub-oak. The pine has been boxed for turpentine and 
partly abandoned, much having been cut for lumber. The remain- 
ing trees are usually decrepit and in anything but a thrifty con- 
dition. A hopeful feature, however, is the great number of young 
long-leaf pines which are coming up in the scrub oak wherever the 
conditions are favorable and where they are not killed by the re- 


peated fires which evidently frequently pass through these forests. 
This area needs careful forest management. 

The western shore of the pond slopes gently to the uplands and 
is fringed with a skirt of timber of variable width. The predomi- 
nating growth is loblolly pine, associated with short-leaf pine, but 
the gums, oaks and maples are much in evidence. 

Columbia should own this pond and the fine surrounding for- 
ests, preserving for its citizens a feature of the greatest interest 
and value, and one which will surely be more and more appreciated, 
especially should a trolley-line make it still more accessible. Ap- 
proximate area to reserve, 700 acres, including 300 acres of water. 


The old homestead of the Hampton family, lying four miles out 
on the Garner's Ferry Road, is a spot of great natural beauty and 
worthy of preservation for all future generations, not for this alone, 
but for the rich historic associations that cluster around it. The 
fine old vine-clad columns of the mansion still stand, silent and 
imposing sentinels of the past, guarding the sacred memories of 
the noble lives lived within its walls. 

A few splendid specimens of rare exotic trees and shrubs, all 
that is now left of what must have been at one time a fine garden^ 
are here, and there are many large oaks and other trees immedi- 
ately around the house site. 

Between this site and the creek is a large tract of very fine 
long-leaf pine, with a rather open underwood of post-oak, black- 
jack, forked -leaf blackjack and Spanish oaks. None of the 
pines have been boxed for turpentine. Very few have apparently 
ever been cut, and it represents a primitive long-leaf pine forest 
which would be difficult to duplicate within the same distance of 
almost any other southern city, and in a few years it will be im- 
possible to duplicate it anywhere. Great effort should certainly 
be made to preserve this body of timber. Numerous long-leaf 
pine seedlings are coming up in this grove, and, by protecting them, 
the forest could be renewed and perpetuated for all time. 

The other growth around the house site is largely second-growth 
loblolly and short-leaf pine, thirty-five to forty years old, and repre- 
sents about the average condition of such growth. 

Should" circumstances ever place this old estate in jeopardy, 
there are undoubtedly many willing hands to reach out and save it 
from those who would but despoil and desecrate. 


The road to Millwood from Columbia is fairly good, with inter, 
esting scenery. 

Approximate area, 125 acres. 

State Reservations 

We have previously mentioned the advisability of the state 
securing and reserving certain areas along the Congaree, Broad 
and Saluda Rivers to protect the bottoms during overflows and to 
preserve the natural beauty of the banks. A portion of these areas 
may be seen by referring to the maps accompanying this report. 

There may also be other lands in the vicinity of Columbia that 
are worthy of receiving state care and protection. 

It might even be within the province of the state to secure and 
preserve forever such a spot as Millwood, thus insuring its perma- 
nent safety and care. 

The State Farm, to the north of the city and on the banks of the 
Broad River, offers remarkably extended views from its terraced 
hills of river and landscape. Some time in the future it may have 
an important bearing on Columbia's park system. 

An Outer System of Parks and Reservations 

Should Columbia become a city of large size, as seems quite 
within the bounds of reason, it could easily secure an outer park 
system by connecting various reservations described above. 

Beginning at the proposed state reservation where Gill's Creek 
joins the waters of the Congaree River south of the city, a drive can 
be constructed, following up Gill's Creek to Dents' Pond and 
passing by way of a small pond east of Bluff Road and Millwood. 
From Dents' Pond, connection with Ridgewood Park, and through 
it with Riverway, might be had by following up the stream which 
enters Dents' Pond from the northwest, and, crossing over the 
ridge at or near the intersection of the Southern and Seaboard 
Air Line Railroads, continue down a branch of Crane Creek. 

The total length of such a parkway, from the Congaree River to 
Ridgewood Park, would be about fourteen miles, or from Bluff 
Road to Ridgewood, about eleven and one-half miles. 

The road-bed would necessarily require solid ground most of the 
way, and therefore might need a location in many places some lit- 
tle distance from the streams. 

However, corduroy road is fairly easy to construct, and a drive- 


way, partly through swamps, would be very interesting and beauti- 
ful, especially in winter. 

A notable feature of such a parkway is that it would intersect 
and connect no less than nine principal highways entering Colum- 
bia at an average distance from the present city limits of three and 
one-half miles. 

This may be a dream of the future, but it is at least a worthy 
one, and dreams are sometimes realized. 



Total JArea of 
area , Streets 

(acres) ' (acres) 




Washington Park .... 

Sidney Park 

Sidney Parkway .... 
Congaree Park . . . 
Granby Athletic Field . . 
Rocky Branch Park . . . 
Rocky Branch Parkway . 

Valley Park 

Forest Park ... 
Riverway (averaging ioo 

feet wide) 

Richland Park . . . 
Capitol Park and Mall 
Dents' Pond Reservation 

45 9 $44,550 
26 6 33,000 
37 12 21,550 
83 26 35,000 
18 . . 1,800 
75 23 (rf) 7,500 
15 6 (A) . . 
20 ; . . iff) ... 
15 • • i 300 

30 . (e) . . 

450 . . 7,200 
(a) 32 11 (//) . . . 
(6)700 i . . (/i) ... 

125 • (A) 


(/) ... 


(A) ' •' ' 

w '. ' ' 

(A) • ■ 
(A) ... 

(c) $100,320 




i, 800 


(A) • • • 

G?) ... 


(«) • • • 
(A) . . . 

(A) . . . 
(A) . . . 

Approximate totals 

(/)8ii 93 150,900 



(a) Of which seven acres are now owned by the State. 
(6) Of which 300 acres are in water. 

(c) This high valuation is caused by the excessive number of tenements occupying Wash- 
ington Park. This class of property is highly profitable as a private investment, but seriously 
depreciates general real estate values of all adjoining property. 

(d) Our estimate, and probably considerably over assessed valuation. 

(e) We assume that the title rests in the city. 
This does not include valuation of Ice Plant or buildings of the Seaboard Air Line R. R. 
Now laid out as a private park. 
Not estimated. 
Excepting Dents' Pond Reservation, Millwood and Valley Parks. Deducting 450 acres, 



the area of Richland Park, leaves 361 acres of strictly city park acreage. 


A Survey of their Present Condition, with Improvement and Planting Sugges- 
tions ; also recommendations regarding the Plan of each Street 

In making this survey, it was not attempted to note each indi- 
vidual tree in the city ; typical sections of each street were selected 
and amply serve the purposes of this report. Definite suggestions 

First year. 2. Second ye 
look. 6. Anoth 

hied year, 
type, plenty of room 

age. 5. How a street tree should 

(See also page 29.) 


for the paving and parking of each street are given in due order. 
We believe it will be found very satisfactory to use the trees we 
have recommended for each given street, but latitude may be used. 
The use of short-lived trees should be discouraged. 

The three greatest evils which affect the streets trees are, 
first, the closeness of the planting, which necessitates either fre- 
quent and heavy pollarding or the injury to the crowns by crowd- 
ing ; second, pollarding (even where the crowns are not crowded), 
severe and injudicious pruning, and neglect of the resultant 
wounds^ causing hundreds of decayed limbs which are followed by 
hollow trunks ; third, neglect of cultivation and lack of food. 
Many of the trees, especially young elms and celtis planted in the 
middle of the streets, are in a very poor condition from starvation. 
Great numbers of the old oaks may be rejuvenated by pruning, ;/ 
done properly. 

The city of Columbia may be divided into two portions, one 
lying north of Green street and east of Gadsden, embracing the 
best-built portion of the city, and containing many rows of fine 
trees, especially oaks and elms ; and the other lying between these 
streets and the south and western limits of the city, largely a low 
area sloping to Rocky Branch and the river, containing the de- 
pots, stations and railroad tracks, and in which the shade trees are 
entirely wanting or in poor condition or have been only recently 
planted. There is scarcely a street in this last district in which 
there are not many blocks entirely without trees. 

Much can be done to immediately improve the condition of 
existing trees by careful pruning and judicious thinning and by 
feeding them. 

As a rule, each street should be planted as indicated with a 
single species, unless, in some instances perhaps, where the center 
of a street is parked. 

Oaks, elms and other large-growing street trees do best when 
planted fifty or sixty feet apart and never less than forty feet apart 
in the row. 

N. B. — Plans I, II, III, indicate the plan of street recom- 
mended (see "Suggestions for The Improvement of Boulevards 
and Streets" page 53) — that is, the manner of parking and paving. 
Except when indicated otherwise, all hundred-foot streets are 
understood to be Plan I. 

Where a species of tree is recommended for a street, it is not 
expected that fine existing specimens of any species will be de- 
stroyed. In replanting a street already occupied by poor or unde- 


sirable trees, great judgment must be used in locating the young per- 
manent trees at proper distances apart and in leaving enough 
existing trees to temporarily provide a reasonable amount of shade ; 
he latter to be removed when the permanent trees have reached 
a sufficient size. 

Points of the compass are abbreviated, as N.=North. 

"Blanks" refer to trees being absent in what would otherwise 
be a continuous line of trees. "Crowded'" refers to trees being 
too close. There is no middle planting unless it be specifically 
mentioned. " Tree ////^"indicates the present distance of street 
trees from the property lines. 

Inch measurement for trees refers to diameter. Six-inch trees 
are usually under 15 feet in height ; 12-inch trees are usually under 
25 feet in height ; 14-inch trees are usually under 35 feet in height. 
(" Oak" refers to existing water- and willow-oaks, which are some- 
times associated with laurel. Where one kind is planted unmixed, 
it is so stated. "Elm" refers to small-leaved, associated with 
white elms. ) 

Elmwood Avenue 

Except at the extreme western portion below Huger street, 
Elmwood avenue for more than a mile is nearly level, and presents 
one of the best opportunities of parking of any street in the city. 
W. of Huger it has never been graded, and is without sidewalks 
or houses along this portion. 

The Negro, Catholic and Elmwood Cemeteries lie to the N. of 
Elmwood and W. of Wayne, and at present lack suitable entrances. 

While there is a great deal more celtis on Elmwood than any 
other tree, there are no fine rows of it. On both sides of the street 
there are several rows of young elms, and one row of old elms in 
good condition. There are a few oaks. The west end is practically 
unplanted below Gadsden. The trees in the middle of the avenue 
are all in an extremely poor condition, and should be heavily ma- 
nured unless others are planted in their places. In spite of the gen- 
erally poor condition of the trees, the street presents several fine 
arched vistas. Several blocks could be entirely replanted without 
in any way breaking these vistas, provided occasional trees were 
left along the center. 

Trees crowded or blanks. Some fine 16-inch celtis on S. side 
near Main and large oaks and ginkgo S. side between Gates and 
Assembly should be saved. The tree line varies from 10 to 15 feet. 
Curbs few, wooden. 


Plant Elms (small-leaved), retaining the best specimens oi 
other existing trees. 
Plan III. 

Lumber Street 

One of the finest streets. W. of Gadsden little improved, but 
two fine sycamores, and poor celtis are noticeable. E. of Gads- 
den starved celtis on S. and center ; fine rows of celtis on N. 
side, crowded. W. of Assembly the sides and center are planted 
with fine oaks, forming arches. E. of Assembly there are good 
rows of trees on both sides and a poor row in the center. Nearing 
Pickens there are three rows forming arched vistas, largely 14- 
inch celtis, with few elms. E. of Pickens two rows, 14-inch celtis 
and elms. The tree lines of Lumber, usually 10 and 12 feet, here 
widen on N. side to 15 feet, bordered by deep ditch. From Barn- 
well to Harden, poor condition, blanks. 

Plant Oaks. 

Plan II. 

Richland Street 

W. of Gadsden S. side 16-inch celtis, starved and badly pruned ; 
N. side fine 18-inch to 24-inch water-oaks. One of the finest 
and largest rows of trees in the city. E. of Gadsden, S. side, a few 
large oaks and celtis in poor condition ; many blanks. N. side, 
row of 14-inch evergreen cherry, alternating with 8-inch celtis ; 
poor condition. E. and W. of Assembly, no center planting ; side 
planting irregular, mostly celtis. W. of Pickens, S. side, row of 
large oaks, fair condition ; center, large old oaks, poor condition ; 
N. side, oaks and 12-inch celtis. E. of Pickens, N. and S. sides and 
center, old oaks ; some celtis N. side. Oaks need much trimming. 
Street in bad condition. Tree line 9 to 12 feet, occasionally 14 feet. 

Plant Water-oaks. 

Plan II. 

Laurel Street 

W. of Gadsden, slopes steeply down to river; on S. side 14- 
inch celtis in good condition ; center, 8-inch starved celtis ; N. side, 
a few winged elms, heavily trimmed, roots badly washed and ex- 
posed, mixed with 14-inch celtis. E. of Gadsden, crowded and 
irregular elms and celtis, in center of N. and S. sides; two fine 
water-oaks in middle of driveway. W. of Assembly, much nar- 
rowed by railroad yards to Lincoln street. Irregular and broken 


rows of celtis and elms. W. of Pickens, S. side, a fine row of 20- 
inch oaks, some blanks, needing attention ; center, mixed elms and 
fair oaks ; N. side, 12-inch elms in good condition. From Laurens 
to Hardin, Laurel is blank ; between Laurens and Pickens, broken 
rows of large oaks, many blanks; also celtis and elms. The oaks 
need vigorous pruning, and all need manuring. 

Plant Willow-oaks. 

Plan II. 

Blanding Street 

General condition very poor. W. of Gadsden, mostly poor 18- 
inch celtis, many closely pollarded ; center, a row of recently planted 
elms and celtis, 6 to 8 inches. E. of Gadsden, street narrows, 
and no trees to Gates street. W. of Assembly, narrow, broken rows 
of poor trees where the street circles the railroad yards. E. of 
Assembly, poor celtis or blanks till near Pickens, where occur poor 
or broken rows of oaks. E. of Pickens, poor oaks, celtis and 
blanks to railroad fill. 

Plant Laurel-oaks. 

Plan II. 

Taylor Street 

W. of Gadsden, is unimproved, blank ; at Gadsden, a deep 
gully and rapidly rising grade to Assembly ; at Lincoln, Seaboard 
Air Line trestle crosses. From Lincoln to Gates the street narrows 
to 25 feet, with few irregular celtis. From Gates, through to the 
Camden and Two Notch Roads, in Waverly, celtis predominates 
— some good specimens, but usually starved and in poor condi- 
tion ; many blanks. From Henderson to Gregg are some good 
oaks, a row of paper mulberries on S. side, crowded. N. side, 
near Pickens, some notable crape myrtles, which is not a suitable 
tree for shade purposes, particularly on sides of streets. Near 
Gregg, the tree line narrows to 6 feet. 

Plant Red Oak. 

Plan II. — Main to Harden street. 

Plan I. — Main to Gist street. 

Plain Street 

W. of Gadsden, steep and gullies ; a portion built up with poor- 
class houses ; few celtis and elm ; one fine 18-inch oak ; mostly 
blank. E. of Gadsden to Laurel, is very mixed and uneven plant- 
ing of oaks, elms, and celtis varying in size, and many recently 


planted, and blanks. A number of fine trees exist, but mostly in 
poor condition. 

Plant Elms. 

Plan II. — E. of Assembly. 

Plan I. — W. of Assembly. 

Washington Street 

W. of Gadsden, little improvement ; gullies, railroad embank- 
ments and poor tenements. Practically blank. E. of Gadsden, 
mostly broken, irregular rows of celtis and oaks in varying sizes, 
and mostly poor condition ; center row, badly damaged by poles 
and wires ; near Pickens, some large, heavy-crowned oaks, mixed 
with celtis. This street terminates at Pickens. 

Plant Willow-oaks. 

Plan II.— E. of Gates. 

Plan I.— W. of Gates. 

Lady Street 

W. of Gadsden, a fairly steep slope toward river ; walks in 
medium condition ; irregularly planted with celtis, both sides. E. 
of Gadsden, mostly celtis, many blanks, and generally in poor 
condition; near Pickens, one large tulip tree and 18-inch oaks, 
and celtis on N. side. Street terminates at Pickens. 

Plant Laurel-oaks. 

Plan II. — E. of Wayne. 

Plan I. — W. of Wayne. 

Gervais Street 

W. of Gadsden, is scantily planted as far as Pulaski on both 
sides ; many blanks below Pulaski. E. of Gadsden, again celtis, 
with few oaks and elms in fair condition, nearing Assembly; this 
continues to Pickens, with many large oaks, and celtis large and 
small ; few blanks. E. of Pickens, some fine 18-inch oaks, but 
toward eastern end blanks, and the few trees in poor condition. 
This is one of the most important streets in the city. 

Plant Laurel-oaks. 

Plan I. 

Senate Street 

This was originally intended to be a leading avenue. Below 
Gates the railroads so cut it off that it is of little value at present. 
E. of Gates, and to Sumter, is in decay, with little or no curbing, 


and 18-inch curb on N. side ; low walks on S. side ; 12 to 16 feet 
to tree line. The existing small celtis are badly crowded by the 
trees growing around the edge of the capitol grounds, and are poor 
and starved. E. of Sumter to Barnwell are some fine oaks, 2 to 
3 feet in diameter, crowded, and many poor oaks, and some blanks, 
replanted with Carolina poplars. Unfortunately, the tree lines 
vary widely on this street, from 9 to 17 feet. All sizes of elms, 
oaks and celtis may be seen on this street, irregularly spaced, and 
many with roots exposed. E. of Pickens is a row of old, 16-inch 
American elms, in fair condition. This avenue may be made 
exceptionally beautiful. 

Plant Elm or Oak along sides and ginkgo in center ; or all 
elms or all oaks. 

Plan III. — E. of Lincoln. Special treatment along capitol 
grounds. (See group plan.) 

Pendleton Street 

W. of Assembly, some good celtis, large and small in fair con- 
dition, and many blanks. E. of Assembly is found a variety of 
elms, oaks and celtis, a number large and in fair condition, but for 
the most part needing careful pruning. The planting is very irreg- 
ular, though the tree lines are rather even, averaging 12 and 13 
feet, and in many cases badly crowded. E. of Pickens are some 
nice rows of young elms. This street also has great possibilities. 

Plant Elms. 

Plan II. 

College Street 

This street is specially considered in the "group plan," which 

Plant, probably, Elm. 

Green Street 

W. of Assembly, blank and is in bad shape. E. of Assembly, 
there are some good rows of oaks, needing pruning ; some celtis 
and many blanks ; between Sumter and Bull are some very fine 
oaks, and 6-inch elms, both white and small leaf, 30 feet apart ; 
few blanks, and on the whole in good condition. At Pickens this 
street crosses the golf links, and is not laid off. E. of Pickens it 
is mostly level, and when laid off and planted will make a fine 
street, commanding extended views. 

Plant Elm or Sugar Maple. 

Plan II. 


Divine, Blossom, Wheat, Rice, Tobacco and Indigo Streets 

All of these streets are but little improved, and with scattering 
planting. Some trees have been planted by individuals in front of 
their houses. Usually a single species of tree should be selected 
for each street and planted uniformly as the streets are improved 
and graded. See "List of Trees Suitable for Street Planting." 

Robert, Pinckney, Gist, Williams, Pulaski and Wayne Streets 

These streets, lying in the western part of the city and running 
N. and S., are, for the most part, unimproved, or in poor condi- 
tion, and with little systematic planting. 

The remarks on the streets on the S. part of the city apply here. 

Gadsden Street 

This street presents a great variety of street trees in all con- 
ditions ; several water-oaks, near Lady, need trimming ; many of 
the celtis along this street have been pollarded, and are in bad con- 
dition ; between Washington and Plain are some water and Spanish 
oaks needing pruning, and near Lumber a few old mulberries, 
which should be removed at once. A number of evergreen cherry 
trees are noticeable between Richland and Lumber. 

Plant Spanish Oak. 

Plan II. (Generally.) 

Lincoln Street 

S. of Taylor, the Seaboard Air Line Railway has a deep cut, 
with stone retaining walls down the center, one side of the street 
at N. end being entirely blocked by railroad fill and trestle. Fur- 
ther along, and in fact to Lower street, the railroad tracks or 
trestles occupy much of the street. The trees are mostly celtis in 
poor condition. Near Assembly, on W. side, is a group of fine, 
large but badly trimmed oaks ; E. side, small io-inch celtis. 

Plant Ginkgo. 

Plan I. 

Gates Street 

S. of Elmwood, a magnificent row of water-oaks on both sides 
of street; N. of Taylor terminates in a steep embankment at Sea- 
board Air Line yards. S. of Taylor, celtis and blanks. 

Plant Water-oaks. 

Plan II. 


Assembly Street 

S. of Elmwood to Laurel, fine rows of elms, 12 to 24 inches, 
forming complete arches; an unfortunate planting of celtis and 
blanks. From Laurel to Taylor the grades are excessive, but can 
be greatly improved by cutting at Laurel, and filling at Blanding ; 
irregular rows of elms, celtis, mostly small sizes, and blanks, con- 
tinuing to Senate. Between Senate and Pendleton is a nice row 
of oaks and celtis, but crowded on W. side ; center, 8-inch celtis, 
needing special care ; E. side, a good row of celtis and elms. The 
rest of the street has broken rows of celtis and elms, many of the 
former spoiled by pollarding. This should eventually be made a 
boulevard, and probably planted to elms, or possibly oaks, S. of 
Laurel street. 

Plan III. 

Main Street 

S. of Elmwood to Laurel, planted more or less, mostly with 
celtis. S. of Laurel, blank. 

Plant Ginkgo from Elmwood to Taylor. 

Plan I. 

South of Senate is recommended special treatment (See Group 

Sumter Street 

S. of Elmwood. Here again we find the ubiquitous celtis, in all 
sizes and conditions, planted along almost the entire length of the 
street to Gervais, occasionally relieved by a few poor old oaks and 
blanks. Between Gervais and Senate are some 14- to 18-inch elms, 
in fair condition, with blanks at S. end. The celtis on W. side 
are badly crowded by those on the Capitol grounds, and this con- 
dition should be immediately relieved. S. of Senate are fine oaks, 
celtis, and a few elms ; crowded. 

Plant Laurel-oaks. 

Plan II. 

South Carolina College Campus 

On Sumter, head of College street. The driveway on S. side is 23 
feet wide. On the S. side of driveway and within 4 feet of the gutter 
is a row of 18-inch oaks, in poor condition, trunks old and decayed, 
tops badly broken, and in need of pruning ; 20 to 30 feet apart. 
On N. side, 20 feet from driveway, 14-inch celtis and elms; 20 to 
30 feet apart; driveway on N. side of campus is 23 feet wide; 5 


feet from gutter on N. side is a row of 18-inch oaks, many decrepit 
and badly in need of thinning and trimming, mixed with 6-inch 
elms, 14 to 30 feet apart ; crowded. On S. side of the N. drive- 
way, and 25 feet from the driveway, is a row of 14-inch elms in fair 
condition ; 30 feet apart. Through the middle of the campus E. 
and W. are two rows of large elms in fair condition ; rows, 60 feet 
apart, and are a continuation of the rows on College street, E. of 
Main. The trees are spaced 35 feet. The elms here referred to 
are partly white and partly winged, or small leaf. The white elms 
are moribund. All of the trees on the campus are starved, and 
need much attention. 

Marion Street 

S. of Elmwood, on W. side, tree line varies from 9 to 1 2 feet ; 
16-inch celtis and oaks, many blanks; E. side, same trees with 
few elms ; condition good ; tree line 9 feet. Toward Taylor, and 
through to Pendleton, are elms, oaks and many celtis; as a rule, 
the trees entirely too close and greatly needing pruning. S. of 
Green, has not been considered, being unimproved. The South 
Carolina College athletic field is located here. 

Plant Red Oak. 

Plan II. 

Bull Street 

S. of Elmwood, large oaks and elms, many old and decrepit; 
near Blanding, some fine large oaks and celtis, with few crape 
myrtle near Taylor, but, on the whole street the trees vary greatly 
in size and badly spaced, 10 to 30 feet, and many in very poor con- 
dition. Near Green, on E. side, is a row of 6-inch elms ; on W. 
side, near Pendleton, a broken row of large oaks and celtis nearer 
Green, flanked by 7-foot brick wall of South Carolina College from 
Green to Pendleton. S. of Green is opened and graded, but no 
planting and not built up. N. of Elmwood, W. side, blank; E. 
side, tree line 16 feet ; 8-inch elms for nearly one-fourth mile, and 
on Asylum Road flanked by 10-foot wall of State Hospital. 

Plant Spanish Oak on sides, Magnolia in center. 

Plan II. 

Pickens Street 

S. of Lumber to Blanding, some fine oaks mixed with poor speci- 
mens and celtis, needing pruning. S. of Blanding, on W. side a 
magnificent row of oaks, 2 feet in diameter, and 60 feet high- 
The trees are too close, however, 35 feet, the tops being crowded. 


It shows the possibilities of successful oak planting. On E. side 
irregular oaks, but not so fine as on W. There is a fine vista from 
Plain, looking N. to the arch of the State Hospital. Oak planting 
may well be gradually extended throughout the S. part of this 
street. Some blanks. S. of Taylor, many fine oaks, and a mixture 
of elms and celtis; some of the larger oaks rotten, and most of 
the trees on the street needing attention and pruning ; crowded. 
Near Washington is a specimen of paulownia. S. of Pendleton 
there is an offset in Pickens street, its E. line S. of this street 
being continuous with its W. line N. of Pendleton ; blank ; the 
street is not open below Green. 

Plant Oaks. 

Plan II. 

Henderson Street 

S. of Laurel, many fine rows of oaks, some in very bad con- 
dition, which should be removed ; also celtis, crape myrtle, and 

Plant Oaks, N. of Plain ; Sycamore, S. of Gervais. 

Plan II. 

Barnwell Street 

There are oaks, elms, celtis (and a large paulownia) indis- 
criminately planted, with many poor trees and many blanks ; some 
elms with roots badly exposed. 

Plant Sugar Maple, Lumber to Plain, on sides ; Evergreen 
Cherry in center. White Maple, Gervais to Green ; Evergreen 
Cherry in center. 

Gregg Street 

N. of Taylor is a negro section ; no curbing and uneven tree 
line ; celtis, and many blanks. S. of Taylor, irregular-sized celtis, 
many pollarded ; excessive blanks. S. of Gervais, deep cut ; little, 
if any, planting. 

Plant Sycamore (Plane), on sides ; Catalpa in center. 

Plan II. 

Laurens Street 

The best part of Laurens street is occupied by Southern Railway 
fill, and has no driveway or trees. Should be used as parkway. 
(See Plans.) 


Harden Street 

S. of Divine, is little improved. Divine to College, a row of 
6-inch elms at what is really the W. end of "Valley Park"; E. 
side, blank. From College to Gervais, blank, and street in bad 
condition. Gervais to Plain, grading being done ; no walks ; few 
houses, and very few poor celtis. Between Plain and Taylor, six 
middle-sized celtis on W. side; near center, and on E. side, are 
some fine hickories (Hickoria tomentosd), from 45 to 60 feet high. 
In the estate at the S. W. corner of Taylor and Harden are two 
notable specimens of oaks {Quercus falcata) 3 to 4 feet in diameter, 
several fine hickories, and a number of rare and interesting oaks, 
{Quercus margaretta, Quercus catesbcei, and Quercus obtusifolia); 
these should be carefully preserved. Plain to Elmwood. Here the 
avenue has a good average grade, and contains a number of fine 
oaks, including a remarkable group of four specimens, 3 to 4 feet 
in diameter, and a magnificent old yellow poplar {Liriodendron 
tulipifera) 4 feet in diameter. In improving this avenue, these 
grand specimen trees should be carefully preserved from harm. A 
few celtis have been planted, but mostly blank. 

Plant some single species of large-growing oak on sides pos- 
sibly live-oak, with hickories in center. In any event, large-grow- 
ing and long-lived trees. 

Plan III. 

Lower Street 

Is mostly unimproved, and should eventually be treated in 
connection with a park system under Plan III. 



























































































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Oaks. The water, willow and laurel are species among the most 
suitable of the oaks for upland sandy streets. The Spanish and 
white oak are both fine trees, and undoubtedly do splendidly, 
especially down the middle of the streets, where they will have 
plenty of room to spread their large tops without being heavily 
pruned. The same is true of the live-oak, the basket-oak, the 
chestnut-oak, the overcup-oak, the red oak and the black oak. 
On some of the level streets and on some of the streets in the hol- 
lows, it is probable that the pin-oak will do well. 

Elms. The winged, or small-leaf elm does much better on south- 
ern uplands than the white elm. Not only is it a longer-lived tree, 
but it maintains its shape much better and has a more graceful 
habit, with slender, pendulous branchlets. The elms are among 
the earliest deciduous trees to put out their leaves and form the 
finest arches of any tree ; and for these reasons they are very desir- 

Celtis, or Hackberry. Although the celtis is apparently not a 
long-lived tree and is disposed to decay, a large number of fine 
specimens show that where it is given adequate protection, is not 
starved, is not pollarded, and where the wounds are taken care of 
after pruning, it makes a fairly good shade tree. It finds favor in 
Columbia chiefly on account of the very early date at which it is in 
leaf, and the rapidity of its growth. It has no objectionable in- 
sects, and the leaves are light and fall gradually, though late in 
autumn. Columbia has thousands of celtis, however, that should 
be replaced by long-lived and large-growing trees. 

Maples. The sugar-maple is the most desirable maple for plant- 
ing in Columbia. This tree does well at Raleigh, North Carolina, 
and would certainly do well as far south as Columbia. The silver, 
or white maple is a fast-growing tree of medium height, but can- 
not be considered among the really best street trees. Sparing use 
is recommended. 

Sweet-gum. This would be a desirable tree for center planting, 
but, on account of its large and hard fruit-cones, it would not be 
desirable along walks. 

Hardy Catalpa should make an excellent and, during flowering 
time, a gorgeous shade tree. It adapts itself well to dry, sandy 
conditions and also grows luxuriantly in moist ground. 

Evergreen Cherry. While a small tree, it has a symmetrical 


crown, and its evergreen habit recommends it, as it would give 
some life to the streets during winter. Plant usually in center, or 

Southern Magnolia. Another tree for evergreen effects ; its dis- 
tinct habit would make it very effective for center planting. 

Tulip-tree, or Yellow Poplar. Grows splendidly in Columbia, 
and makes a good street tree. The tender bark is liable to perma- 
nent injury, however, but planted in park strips would be of high- 
est value, and give variety. 

American Linden, or Lime. A large-sized tree of rapid growth ; 
best for low or moist streets. 

Black Walnut. A large-growing tree of very distinct growth, 
suitable for low streets. 

Willow. Both the white and black willows are of great value 
for very low streets. 

Cypress. Does well on low and moist ground or uplands. 
Would create beautiful effects as a street tree, especially in center. 

Ash. The green and the white ash are both found native around 
Columbia, and will make good street trees for low or medium 

Hickory. Many species occur at Columbia, and might be well 
used for street and park purposes. 

Honey Locust. The fruit-pods of this tree are very dirty ; other- 
wise it makes a good street tree. 

Red Sweet or Bay (Persea palustris). Native tree of great 
value, but only for center planting ; evergreen, rather thick, up- 
right growth. 

Gum. The black and swamp gum and tupelo grow abundantly 
around Columbia, but they are swamp trees and do best, therefore, 
in moist ground. The fall coloring is gorgeous. Difficult to 

Box Elder A spreading tree of rapid growth, but of secondary 
value for street purposes. 


Sycamore. The European plane will undoubtedly do finely in 
Columbia, and several specimens of the native tree seem to indi- 
cate that it will also do well, though it is liable to blight. 

Ginkgo. The condition of the row of these trees on Elm wood 
avenue indicates that they i ould be far more widely and advanta- 
5 used as a shade tree in Columbia than they are. 

Golden Rain Tree (Kalreuteria paniculata). Medium sized, 25 


to 30 feet ; immense panicles of showy yellow flowers and striking 
pinnate leaves. A Chinese tree not yet sufficiently tested, but prob- 
ably of great value for use in center planting for one or two streets. 

Paulownia, or Empress Tree. Rapid growth and possibly of use 
in center planting. There are several fair specimens now in 

China Tree. Not native. Of use only for center planting; 
form umbrella-shaped. 

Varnish Tree (Sterculia platanifolid). One of the newer trees 
and probably of use for center planting. Showy, large shiny leaves 
and large panicles of yellowish flowers. 


This is not intended to represent a complete list, no special 
botanical investigation having been made, but it probably includes 
all the most common species of the vicinity, and shows what a rich 
flora Columbia has. These species were noted during our investi- 
gations in and around the city. 
Acer tridens, Wood Trident Maple, 
rubrum, L., Red Maple. 
floridanum, Chapm., Southern Maple. 
Alnus serrulata, Ait., Black Alder. 
Aralia spinosa, L., Prickly Ash, or Hercules' Club. 
Asimina triloba, Dunal, Papaw. 
Betula nigra, L., River Birch. 
Carpinus caroliniana, L , Hornbeam. 
Catalpa bignonoides, Walt., Catalpa. 
Celtis occidentalis, L., Hackberry. 
Cercis canadensis, L., Red-bud. 
Cornus sericea, L., Swamp Dogwood. 

florida, L., Dogwood. 
Cyrilla racemiflora. Walt. 
Fagus ferruginea, Ait., Beech 
Fraxinus viridis, Mx , Green Ash. 

profundis, Bush., Swamp Ash. 
Gleditschia triacanthos, L. , Honey Locust, 
Hamamelis virginica, L., Witch-Hazel. 
Hickoria olivaeformis, Brit. 

minima, Brit., Bitternut. 

aquatica, Brit., Swamp Bitternut, or Water Hickory. 
alba, Brit., Common, or White Hickory. 
glabra, Brit., Pignut. 
villosa, Ashe., Sand Hickory. 
Ilex glabra, Ait , Holly, 
cassine, L , Yaupon. 


Juglans nigra, L., Black Walnut 

Juniperus virginiana, L , Red Cedar. 

Kalmia latifolia, L., Mountain Laurel. 

Liquidambar styraciflua, L , Sweet Gum. 

Liriodendron tulipifera, L., Tulip Tree. 

Magnolia foetida, Sarg. (.!/ grandiflora, L |, Great Southern Magnolia. 

virginiana, L. (glauca, L.) White Bay. 
Melia azederach, L , China Tree. 
Morus rubra, L , Native Mulberry. 
Myrica cerifera, L., Wax Myrtle 
Negundo aceroides, Meunch., Box Elder 
Nyssa sylvatica, Marsh., Black Gum. 
aquatica, L , Swamp Gum 
uniflora, Walt , Tupelo 
Oxydendrum arboreum, DC , Sourwood. 
Persea palustris, Chapm , Red, or Sweet Bay. 
Pinus echinata, Mill., Short-leaf Pine, 
taeda, L., Loblolly Pine, 
palustris, Mill., Long-leaf Pine, 
strobus, L., White Pine (in yards). 
Platanus occidentalis, L., Sycamore. 
Populus heterophylla, L., Cottonwood. 
Prunus serotina, Ehrh., Wild Black Cherry, 
chicasa, Marsh., Chicasaw Plum, 
caroliniana, Ait., Evergreen Cherry, Mock Orange. 
Pyrus angustifolia, Ait., Crab Apple. 
Quercus phellos, L., Willow Oak. 

laurifolia, Mx , Laurel Oak. 

nigra, L., Water-Oak. 

marylandica, Meunch., Blackjack Oak. 

catesbsei, Mx., Sand Blackjack Oak. 

coccinea, Wang., Scarlet Oak. 

velutina, Lam., Black Oak. 

rubra, L., Red Oak. 

digitata, Sud., Spanish, or Southern Red Oak. 

pagodaefolia, Ashe., Swamp Spanish Oak. 

obtusiloba, Ait., Post Oak. 

alba, L., White Oak. 

margaretta, Ashe., Runner Oak. 

lyrata, Walt., OvercupOak. 

michauxii, Nut , Swamp Chestnut, or Basket Oak. 

virginiana, Mill., Live Oak. 
Salix nigra, L., Black Willow. 
Sassafras sassafras, Karsl 

Taxodium distichum, Ri< li , Southern Cypress. 
Tsuga canadensis, Carr., Hi mlock (in yards). 
Ulmus americana, !.., White Elm. 

alata, Mx., Winged, or Small-leaf Elm. 
Vaccinium arboreum, M\ , Sparkleberry. 
Viburnum rufo-tomentosum, Small Black Haw.